2023 Highlighted Victories

In 2023, New Southern Majority conducted independent expenditure campaigns in 9 races across 3 states.

(Credit: Jeff Amy/AP Photo)

16th Circuit Court of Mississippi, District Attorney

Scott Colom has served as district attorney for Mississippi’s 16th Circuit since 2015. Before becoming DA, Colom was awarded a Skadden Fellowship, given to law graduates pursuing a career in public interest law. During the fellowship, Colom worked with an SPLC local partner, the Mississippi Center for Justice.

A trailblazer, Colom made history in 2011 by becoming the youngest and first Black justice court judge in Lowndes County. In 2012, he was appointed municipal court judge for Aberdeen, Mississippi, and in 2013, he became the first Black prosecutor for the city of Columbus. In 2022, Colom was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. Colom was recommended for the position by U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson.

As District Attorney, Colom has expanded the circuit’s pretrial diversion and victims’ advocacy program and prioritized transparency. Colom says, “It’s very easy when you’re leading the criminal justice system to want to hide things. So often (with) bad news, even if you can explain it, the easiest thing to do is cover it up. . . . I have nothing to hide. Every case that I’ve dismissed . . . every case that I’ve plead, I can give you an explanation for it.”

Because of Colom’s progressive approach to the job and a district that voted for Republicans in 2019 legislative races, he drew a well-financed Republican opponent in 2023. New Southern Majority invested more than $17,000 in a direct mail and texting program in support of Colom’s reelection. With our help, Colom won with just over 55% of the vote.

Mayor of Austell, Georgia

Cobb County, Georgia, is the third largest county in the state and an emerging battleground. Historically Republican, the county voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and has had Republican county officials for most of the past 20 years.

Cobb has shifted from a majority white county to plurality white county contributing to increasingly competitive elections. This shift has been critical in recent elections, including 2022, as U.S. Sen. Warnock won the county 60% to 40%. New Southern Majority views Cobb County as an important key to building Black political power in Georgia. Despite recent successes, local and municipal elections continue to be very competitive.

Continuing its investment in this important battleground, New Southern Majority supported four candidates for municipal office in Cobb County including incumbent mayor of Austell, Ollie Clemons Jr. A retired U.S. postal worker, Clemons has worked to make city government more accessible and has supported the city’s Youth Innovation Center, a collaborative effort among the city, county, educators and the faith-based community. New Southern Majority ran a direct mail program highlighting Clemons’s commitment to transparent government and, in a low turnout race, the mayor won reelection by 400 votes.