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The Switcher
The Switcher by James H. Herring
by James H. Herring

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Event with James Herring
Tuesday, December 19th at 12PM

First Edition. Signed.

Price: $35.00


Life Story Publishing (June 6th 2023)

First Edition. Signed.


The son of passionate conservative Democrats, Jim Herring ultimately became the only state chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party to serve previously on the Mississippi Democratic Party Executive Committee. Given his family’s deep Democratic roots, this proved quite a journey! Jim’s father was a Mississippi state senator. His father-in-law’s college roommate was a future U.S. senator, Jim Eastland, and the two men were best friends for life.

The Switcher is Jim’s vivid, birds-eye account of the politicians, parties, and principles that competed for voters’ allegiances from the 1960s through 2008 in Mississippi.

Readers witness unfurling political events, power plays, and personalities as the state’s upstart Republicans battled to achieve a viable two-party system against the state Democratic machine that was set on preserving its good-old-boy, powerful vice grip on state politics.

After solid but unsuccessful races as a Democrat for lieutenant governor (1975) and governor (1979), Jim grew increasingly disillusioned with the MDP’s constant infighting and disorganization. Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan became president of the United States. Captivated by Reagan’s articulate, optimistic conservatism, Jim moved into the MRP in the early 1980s.

This made Jim a “switcher,” a sometimes less-than-flattering label applied to MRP newcomers. With time and hard work, however, Jim was elected in 2001 as MRP chairman, a post he held through 2008. He also rose nationally to become the Republican National Committee’s Chairman of the State Chairmen, a role that placed him on the RNC Executive Committee as a leader at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

As MRP chairman from 2001 to 2008, Jim’s chief passion was to see Mississippi develop a real two-party system that operated along partisan lines so voters could be informed about both parties’ real goals and convictions. In 2007, his last full year as state chairman, Mississippi Republicans took control of the Mississippi Senate for the first time since Reconstruction.

One well-known political columnist wrote that, for Jim, the major power shift "had to be a sweet victory.”

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