The Hancock County Republican Women delivered a great event for the voters in Hancock County last night at the Diamondhead City Hall presenting the Republican candidates for office for the August 6, primaries and November General Election, for those who survive August.
The format was very good; the questions were very good, and you just can’t be Joe Gex as a moderator. The only thing lacking was pre-event publicity. So, we’ll do some post-event coverage today.
For the most part the State Officials sent representatives to speak on their behalf. The State level candidates appearing to speak for themselves were:
Public Service Commissioner:
Dane Maxwell, current Mayor of Pascagoula, who said his number one promise to the voters would be to incarcerate all RoBo callers. Maxwell pointed out that he took the lead in DC on the Miss. flooding issue meeting with the Corps of Engineers. He said that he is also the only candidate who has ever actually worked with the PSC.
Kelvin Schultz said if he is elected to PSC, his first priority would be to establish a full time Complaint Department because his experience has been that PSC does not return phone calls or take any interest in the needs of the people they are supposed to be serving. He would also do everything he could to monitor and keep down rates for the public.
Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell working crowd at Diamondhead Candidiate Forum. Photo via Lana Noonan. pic.twitter.com/MujdxivMHn
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The two candidates speaking on their own behalf for Transportation Commissioner, Southern District, were Tom King (I) and Tony Smith.
Tony Smith is concerned with spending at MDOT saying that the state employs over 300 engineers with this agency, yet we have spent $4 million in outside engineering costs. He said that MDOT is currently under audit with State Auditor, Shad White. Smith said that when travelers cross Louisiana and Alabama state lines into Mississippi the sight of the Mississippi highways with trash and much needed maintenance such as grass cutting is very obvious.
Tom King, pointed out that MDOT has been under state audit annually since 2012, and every audit has stated that the agency needs more funding from the state to remedy the continuing battle to provide safe roads, bridges, and maintenance of roadways. He stated he has done everything he could with the funds provided by the legislature.
Mark Baker, the only Attorney General candidate to appear was late because of another event booking, but did make it before the end. He promised his long standing position as a conservative representative would continue as Attorney General. He promised to take on any and all who will challenge Mississippi in court for the state’s conservative policies, and believes “in a world full of problems, to strive to be a solution.”
For the most part, the local Legislative incumbents, Patricia Willis and Phillip Moran, did what incumbents do—they cautioned the voters not to give up the seniority they have in Jackson for getting things done for House District 95 and Senate District 46.
Patricia Willis’ competitors laid out the ground work for their campaigns and terms of office if elected to work for health care for all Mississipians. Nancy Depreo put special emphasis on care for the mentally ill, whom she claims are suffering currently in the state for lack of attention to legislation to meet their needs.
Robert Dambrino and Jay McKnight both want legislation to make Mississippi a friendly workplace to attract business, bringing the teacher pay up to southeastern averages to attract teachers and prevent them from leaving the state.
The Phillip Moran–Blaine La Fontaine section of the Forum was the finale.
Moran explained the 75%–25% split on the BP money with the coast receiving the 75%. He plans to see that the $86 million of the $383 million coming to Hancock County for projects becomes a reality. He believes his seniority in the Senate will make that a reality as he has forged relationships for the past 8 years in a positive way with his colleagues in Jackson which benefit the voters of District 46. He wants to use BP funds as a leverage to bring even more funding for the state. He stated that he wants to be on record as opposed to any tax increases and will continue to work directly with the people and legislature in a positive, not negative way to encourage economic development.
La Fontaine stated his platform is to do a comprehensive analysis of the state regarding economics, education, and environment. He wants to, if elected, connect Senate District 46 to the local governments and their needs through better communication. La Fontaine wants to keep a close eye on the BP funds to make sure they arrive at the right places. He wants tax reform with an emphasis on education and solutions, not ” sound bites.” He says we lack leadership in Jackson and is committed to delivering it through his vision and plans for the coast and state working for the people and not using his position to benefit himself.
As I said, the Hancock County Republican Women can take a victory lap for a well done program, jut more publicity next time!!!!
Now, the voters have to do their part—SHOW UP AT THE POLLS ON AUGUST 6!!!
I suppose we’ll all stay tuned to see if the Hancock County Democratic party has a Debate or Forum planned before August 6.