by Calvin Ishee

On June 25th Democratic candidates vying for various Mississippi offices gathered at the Pass Christian Library to tell voters why they should vote for them. A total of six candidates took to the floor to outline their campaign to approximately fifty potential voters. Here is a brief summary of their planks:

The event was scheduled for the two female Democratic public servants that have provided the most influence for South Mississippi in the last decade, being former Mayor Connie Moran and State Senator Deborah Dawkins.

Moran, candidate for Mississippi Public Service Commission, Southern District. “In addition to my 12 years as Mayor of Ocean Springs, plus over 20 years in economic development, I’ve worked at all levels of government to get things done. I’ve been able to recruit new businesses and I’m passionate about promoting the place I love most, and that’s Mississippi. I will fight to end robocalls, will look at alternative energy sources and will promise you no more money will be spent on boondoggles.  Quality of life issues and jobs will keep our kids in Mississippi.”

Senator Dawkins, incumbent and candidate for Mississippi Senate, District 48. “Under the current leadership in Jackson, we have failed to fully fund education! The problem has been with the Mississippi Lt Governor position, 8 years of Tate Reeves. It’s embarrassing that this is still going on in 2019.  I have been endorsed by Mississippi Association of Educators and will continue fighting for our public education teachers and more importantly, our students. Due to the thousands of uninsured Mississippians, I fully support Medicaid expansion, I also support the use of medical marijuana.  We can and must do better.”

Former Pass Christian Alderman Joe Piernas, candidate for Harrison County Supervisor, District 3 was given a brief time to speak, saying “It’s time for a change.  There are lots of infrastructure and roads that need repaired, with my biggest concern being around the Canal Road Exit. I want to make a difference and hope you’ll support me.”

Following this, Dr. Inez Kelleher, candidate for Mississippi House District 117 said “Historically this district has never had a choice, a person was always picked for this position. I want to offer the voters a choice. If elected I would be the only physician in the State Legislature since 1985 and can take a leadership role on heath care related issues. Good health care impacts everyone and must be fixed.”

Tom Lehr, candidate for Mississippi Senate District 40.  “I decided to run when I accidentally met current Mississippi State Senator Angela Hill. I had lived in Seattle for 17 years but moved to Mississippi and discovered that a Democrat hadn’t held the District 40 seat for over 30 years. I’m a scrapper and don’t have a problem talking to anyone and telling them that Angela Hill will not be sitting in office in 2020. You don’t need to do a lot to win, if you do it right.”

Finally, Gary Fredericks, candidate for Mississippi Senate District 48 said “I’ve grown up in the legislature. You don’t go to Jackson to be a Democrat, you go to do the right thing. I suggest you read the book the “Purpose Driven Life”. You are here for a purpose and elected officials must be visible. This is a moment of transformation.”

Voters will be given the opportunity to vote for the candidates of their choice on August 6th when the Primary will be held throughout the State.