**For Immediate Release**
Contact: Chairman Dana Criswell
Mississippi Freedom Caucus
Jackson, MS (July 7, 2022) — A news story first reported by Frank Corder at Y’all Politics was released earlier today which indicates that Republican Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and former-Democrat turned Republican Speaker Pro-Tem Jason White are fundraising for former-Democrat Representative Shanda Yates. Yates, who beat out a long time Republican Bill Denny, ran under a far left-progressive platform and supported by the Sister District Project and former Bill Clinton appointed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy. The Sister District Project’s website indicates their organization aims “to build enduring progressive power in state legislatures.” In an interview during her campaign Yates indicated that she hoped to “break the Republican supermajority in our state” but now seems to be supported by the Republicans she so passionately wants to remove from power. The Jackson Free Press reported after her election win that “Unlike other Democrats trying to unseat [Republican] incumbents, Yates did not try to run as a conservative Democrat.” Yates also Indicated during her campaign that “I believe that the six-week abortion ban is unconstitutional and will be overturned.”
During her time in the Legislature, Yates has authored bills to remove the prohibition for same-sex marriage, allow gay couples to adopt children, allow for early voting and online voter registration, and several bills to expand Medicaid. Yates has also voted against pro-life bills and against the Fairness Act which prevents males from playing in female sports. Yates clearly ran as a liberal Democrat, has continued her political career in the legislature as a liberal, and indicated in an interview with WLBT upon leaving the Democratic Party to be an independent that her politics and goals had not changed, only the letter behind her name.
This is certainly a new low for Republican leadership in the Mississippi Legislature to help fundraise for a legislator that holds such extreme liberal views. The Mississippi Freedom Caucus calls on Speaker Gunn and Speaker Pro Tem White to disavow Shanda Yates and immediately cancel all efforts to raise money for her re-election. The Mississippi Freedom Caucus will never turn our back to our true conservative views of individual liberty, faith, and strong families. Yet as long as Republicans at the top of our party are actively fundraising for the most extreme liberals in the state, how do we ever expect true conservatives to have a chance at getting elected?