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Sunday, October 9, 2011
One man helps mount Mississippi's anti-illegal-immigrant movement
Rodney Hunt, an oral surgeon who says he wants to retain conservative power in the state, came out of obscurity to become the citizen leader of the cause. Now the success of state politicians seems to hang on his group's support.
It was just after the state primaries, and Hunt, 65, a reserved man by nature, had emerged as something of a Mississippi kingmaker.
Hunt's organization, the Mississippi Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement, or MFIRE, had endorsed Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, who had just crushed his opponent in the GOP primary and appeared destined to become governor, partly because he was promising voters he'd push for a tough anti-illegal-immigration law — the group's signature issue.
As the tea party members gathered at Flowood City Hall, other conservative candidates made sure to pay their respects to Hunt, an oral surgeon who came out of obscurity to become the citizen leader of this Deep South state's movement against illegal immigration.