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Mississippi Democratic Party calls for boycott of state fair after Gipson’s Trump rally

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Mississippi Democratic Party calls for boycott of state fair after Gipson’s Trump rally

Jun 10, 2024 | 4:11 pm ET
By Geoff Pender
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Andy Gipson speaks at the Westin Jackson after being named Mississippi's new agriculture and commerce commissioner Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Credit: Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America
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Andy Gipson speaks at the Westin Jackson after being named Mississippi's new agriculture and commerce commissioner Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Credit: Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America

The Mississippi Democratic Party on Monday called for a boycott of this year’s state fair after state Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson held a support rally for former President Donald Trump last week.

“This event, hosted and funded by Ag Commissioner Andy Gipson’s campaign, comes in the wake of Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up a payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election,” a Democratic Party press release on Monday said. “… The Mississippi Democratic Party believes that this rally is not just a show of support for Trump, but a dangerous endorsement of criminal behavior and corruption.

” … In light of this event, we are calling for a boycott of the upcoming Mississippi State Fair, an event closely associated with the AG Commissioner’s office. By boycotting the State Fair, we aim to send a clear message that the citizens of Mississippi will not support or tolerate the actions of leaders who stand with a convicted criminal.”

Gipson responded to the call for a boycott in a statement on Monday: “The Mississippi Democrat Party’s statement and boycott of our State Fair is about as ridiculous as the charges brought against Donald Trump in New York City. I invite everyone to come enjoy the Mississippi State Fair October 3rd through 13th?”

Republican Gipson, who oversees the fair and state fairgrounds, called the New York trial and jury conviction of Trump a “rigged and politically motivated witch hunt.” He held a rally, funded by Gipson’s campaign according to ads for the rally, in support of Trump on Thursday night at the Mississippi Agriculture Museum.

The 165th Mississippi State Fair is scheduled for Oct. 3-13.

A successful boycott could have a large financial impact for Jackson and the state.

The capital city’s largest annual event last year drew more than 500,000 attendees, according to Gipson’s department. According to Visit Jackson, the fair generates more than $30 million a year in tourism spending in the city.

In the Democratic Party press release, party Chairman Cheikh Taylor said, “It is deeply concerning and frankly alarming to see our state leaders, including Attorney General Lynn Fitch and Governor Tate Reeves, supporting a convicted felon.”

“The time for action is now,” Taylor said. “We must take a stand against those who would undermine our democracy and the values we hold dear.”