Veteran attorney, Andy Taggart, has announced his candidacy for Attorney General of the State of Mississippi.
Over the past three decades, Taggart has served as a practicing attorney and counsel to many of the state’s top leaders. For the past seven years, spurred by a tragic, personal loss, Taggart has served as a passionate crusader among young people and families battling illicit drugs. He believes the fight against drugs, and the predators who profit from others’ destruction, should be top priority for law enforcement, led by the state’s next Attorney General.
“This fight has led me to run for this office. This is something I have believed needed to happen for a long time, and now my family and I are healthy enough to take it on,” said Taggart on his decision to run. “The time is right to step into the future, now as champions – no longer as victims – in the war against the scourge on our communities that is the poison of drugs.”
Taggart has been at the forefront of the Mississippi Republican Party throughout his adult life, having served as the state’s College and University Campus Director for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1980, as Political Director of the state GOP, and then in the leadership of President Reagan’s re-election effort as Executive Director of the Mississippi Republican Party in 1984.
In 1981, Taggart helped elect Kirk Fordice as the first Republican Governor of Mississippi in the modern era. He then served as Gov. Fordice’s Chief of Staff and Counsel, where he was instrumental in the ramp-up of Mississippi’s first Republican administration in the 20th century.
Taggart has also served as Litigation Counsel to Governor Haley Barbour and Audit Counsel to then-State Auditor Phil Bryant. He was named by Governor Phil Bryant as Co-Chairman of the Mississippi Department of Corrections Task Force to help restore public confidence and trust in the operations of state government after a huge bribery scandal shook that department. Taggart is also one of Governor Bryant’s appointees to the Mississippi Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee.
In addition to being counsel to our state’s leaders, Taggart has held the coveted “AV” rating for lawyers from Martindale-Hubbell® for 20 years. Considered one of the state’s top political minds, Taggart is co-author of two popular books, Mississippi Politics: The Struggle for Power, 1976-2008, which earned two literary awards in its first year of publication, and a lighter book of political anecdotes, Mississippi Fried Politics: Tall Tales from the Back Rooms. He has also authored or co-authored works published by The Mississippi Law Journal, The Mississippi Lawyer, The Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, The Journal of Mississippi History, and frequently contributes to other publications.
Taggart serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Mississippi College, where he is Chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee. Previously, he served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, and as Chairman of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership. He was elected to a term of service on the Madison County Board of Supervisors. Taggart was elected President of that Board in January 2007, where he served until the end of his term in early 2008.
Taggart obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Mississippi College in 1979, and received his Juris Doctor cum laude from Tulane University School of Law in 1984. He has been married to Karen Taggart for 36 years; they are parents to three sons and proud grandparents of a baby girl.