Republicans revive soft-on-crime rhetoric…

Rising crime rates in the US and efforts from the White House and in Congress to pass sweeping police reform legislation have thrust crime policy into the center of the national political debate.

“Sending someone to Congress to support law enforcement and oppose efforts to defund the police are key parts of Sheriff Ezell’s background that make him a natural fit for issues people are focusing on right now,” Josh Gregory, a senior adviser to Ezell’s campaign, said.

GOP operatives in Washington see the debate over rising crime rates and police funding levels as a potent issue that will be the centerpiece of their campaign to take control of the House and the Senate in next year’s midterm elections. It motivates base party voters — as evidenced by the primary fight in Mississippi’s 4th District — and Republican insiders believe it will also help them win crossover support from Democrats and independents in key districts and states.