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Candidates present platforms in Pontotoc

PONTOTOC – Twelve of the 13 candidates running for Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District seat gathered Tuesday night to speak to voters directly at an event sponsored by the Pontotoc Republican Executive Committee.news_politics_green-130x130

The candidates, and one representative who spoke on behalf of the absent candidate, had six minutes each to speak. Topics ranged from reforming tax codes to lowering the national debt and other issues such as national defense and immigration.

Candidates in the May 12 special election will run together in a nonpartisan election, and the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff if no one obtains a majority vote. The runoff is slated for June 2.

As a followup to the story printed in today’s edition of The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (found here), listed below are some more notable quotes from each candidate:

Boyce Adams – Columbus businessman

“The question I get asked and I’m sure you’ve been asked…is this country past the point of no return, and the answer is a flat out ‘no.’”

“We have a great opportunity to get this country back on track, to get America back to work and to get Mississippi back to work.”

“America is exceptional. We don’t need to hide that. When America leads, the world follows.”

Sam Adcock – Columbus businessman

Chance Lewis, a Columbus resident, spoke on behalf of Adcock as a volunteer supporter of the campaign.

“(Adcock) does not need training wheels or on-the-job training,” Lewis said.

“Real and simplified tax reform is needed. We can’t keep letting Obama hit us in the gut,” Lewis said quoting a statement from Adcock.

Nancy Collins – State senator R-Tupelo

“I’m running for Congress because our country is in serious trouble.”

“I’m the only candidate in this race with a voting record. I’m a proven conservative with a record to show for it.”

“I stood up to politicians in Jackson, and I’ll do the same in Washington.”

“My faith is what guides me, not what’s politically popular at the time.”

Ed Holliday — Tupelo dentist

“I’m the only candidate who can best articulate our North Mississippi values.”

“When Washington is not working, the worst thing we can do is to send another politician to Washington.

“As the national debt grows, the future of our children diminishes. We need to change that word to generational theft.”

Starner Jones – Memphis emergency room physician

“I think you can agree there has been incredible displays of leadership in this country, but in recent history over the last six years how many of you have felt more secure, more independent, more closely aligned with the country’s core values?”

“America is in a state of crisis.”

“These politicians aren’t fixing a thing.”

Trent Kelly – District Attorney of Saltillo

“It’s not great leadership, it’s great leaders who look to God.”

“I think it’s important we not send troops into harms way when people don’t know what it’s like to be in harms way.”

“I love this great nation. We’re not broke. We’re not perfect, but we can get back on the right track.”

Chip Mills – Itawamba County prosecuting attorney

“Politics as usual has not helped in Washington to get us to where we are today.”

“Politics as usual has slowed down this country’s growth.”

“This election and campaign is not about me; it’s about this country and North Mississippi, a place that’s near and dear to my heart.”

Greg Pirkle – Tupelo attorney

“Congress does not have the will to stop what it’s doing to our country and small businesses.”

“Instead of making the United States a safe haven, it’s become a detriment to new business.”

“This year, I’m going to stop saying will someone (fix this)? This year I’m saying, ‘I am willing to do something about this.’ I know I can make a difference.”

Henry Ross – Eupora lawyer

“We can be great again if we follow these things and restore what America is all about.”

“Seventy-three years now, we’ve had unlimited government. That’s what’s caused the problem we’re all worried about.”

“I’m running for Congress to restore limited Constitutional values.”

Daniel Sparks – Tishomingo County attorney

“Our greatest days are ahead of us with sacrifice and work.”

“We all talk about cutting taxes, reducing benefits. Everyone is going to have to step up and say, ‘I want to do more.'”

“We don’t need top-down education. We need to back up and let our teachers teach.”

Mike Tagert – Transportation Commissioner

“Is this good for the people of the 1st Congressional District? Are these the values they would like to see represented in Washington? That’s the litmus test I will use.”

“The No. 1  issue facing our country is the executive overreach of this administration.”

“This is about public service; not self service.”

Quentin Whitwell – Oxford attorney

“If you’re nice enough to elect me to Washington I’m going to work everyday to make sure the principles all of us have talked about are represented.”

“I know the effects of Obamacare. We must not stop until we repeal it.”

“I’m just Quentin. I’m not going to change. I’m not going to be anyone different.”

Walter Howard Zinn Jr. – Pontotoc attorney

“I desire to make Mississippi first by looking forward instead of looking backward.”

“A lot of people here are very talent. I am the best person for this job.”

“No matter what the weather is in (Washington) D.C., or who the president is, it’s about putting together an agenda that makes Mississippi great.”

Kelly receives endorsement from veterans PAC

TUPELO – Trent Kelly, a candidate for Mississippi’s 1st District Congressional seat, received an endorsement Wednesday from VetsStrong Political Action Committee.

Kelly

Kelly

Kelly, who currently serves as district attorney for Lee, Pontotoc, Alcorn, Monroe, Itawamba, Prentiss and Tishomingo counties, is one of 13 candidates running in the May 12 special election that was called following the death of Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

VetsStrong PAC is a PAC whose mission is to engage veterans in the political process and to assist candidates who share their vision of a strong America, according to its website.

“Colonel Kelly embodies the VetsStrong mission and values” said VetsStrong founder and Desert Storm Veteran Jim Gill in a press release. “(Kelly) believes in a strong national defense and has vowed to make sure that our military has all the necessary resources to respond and win in a rapidly changing global security environment. Mr. Kelly is a fiscal conservative who is making job creation a focus of his campaign. He has made it a priority of his to fight for a strong economy that provides opportunities for all Americans to be successful. He strongly supports our Veterans and will fight hard to ensure they continue to receive the care and benefits promised to them. (Kelly) has demonstrated the leadership qualities that our Nation needs right now.”

Kelly is an Iraq War veteran and has spent 29 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard.

“It is important that veterans and their families are engaged at all levels of the democratic process, and VetsStrong does important work in this area,” Kelly said in a press release. “Like VetsStrong, I believe there is nothing more important than defending this great nation and our priority in defending ourselves is to make sure we have a strong economy that provides high-paying jobs for our citizens. I am extremely excited to have another endorsement from a national veterans organization.”

Candidates in the special election will run together in a nonpartisan election, and the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff if no one obtains a majority vote. The runoff is slated for June 2.

rod.guajardo@journalinc.com

Twitter: @rodgjournal

 

Jones receives endorsement from medical association

TUPELO – Dr. Starner Jones, one of 13 candidates running for Mississippi’s 1st District Congressional seat, received Tuesday an endorsement from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Jones

Jones

The organization cited Jones’ medical background and personal experience with the impact of Obamacare as reason for their endorsement. 

In a press release issued Tuesday, the organization stated it “enthusiastically endorses” Jones as a candidate in the May 12 special election, which was called following the death of Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

“Dr. Jones understands, from first-hand experience, the effect of ObamaCare on the practice of medicine and pledges to work for repeal,” the release stated. “We need a physician who will stand up to both parties and do what’s right for America.”

Following the endorsement, Jones said he was grateful for the trust and support of medical professionals from across Mississippi.

“They understand firsthand how critical it is that we repeal and replace Obamacare. If we want different results in Washington, we have to change the players on the team,” Jones said. “We can’t trust the professional politicians to solve the problems they’ve created. I’m a doctor not a politician, and I wear proudly the badge of a political outsider looking in at a broken government.”

Jones is a Pontotoc native and emergency room physician in Memphis.

Candidates in the special election will run together in a nonpartisan election, and the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff if no one obtains a majority vote. The runoff is slated for June 2.

rod.guajardo@journalinc.com

Twitter: @rodgjournal

Adams, Jones qualify for Congressional race

TUPELO – Columbus businessman Boyce Adams and Pontotoc native and Memphis emergency room physician Starner Jones are the latest candidates to qualify for Mississippi’s 1st District Congressional seat.

Boyce Adams

Boyce Adams

Adams and Jones turned in petitions with at least 1,000 signatures from registered voters to the Secretary of State’s office before the deadline today.

That leaves two candidates left to qualify – Columbus businessmen Danny Bedwell and Sam Adcock. The candidates have until 5 p.m. today to turn in their signatures.

Adams said in a press release he looked forward to continuing working hard to earn the vote from people across the 1st District.

“As someone who has created jobs in Mississippi, I’ll use my background as a small businessman to look at everything in Congress from a unique perspective,” Adams said. “I know firsthand the impact of government’s laws, policies and regulations on small businesses in Mississippi. That’s why I will work to get government out of the way—so we can create more jobs and opportunities for all Mississippians.”

Jones

Jones

Jones said in a press release it was his belief that if Mississippians want different results in Washington, they should send a different type of person to Washington.

“We just can’t trust the same career politicians and political insiders to fix the mess they created,” Jones said. “I’m a conservative outsider who has never run for office. I have spent my life saving people as an emergency room doctor.”

The special May 12 election was called following the death of Congressman Alan Nunnelee, who died Feb. 6 following a battle with cancer.

The candidates will run together in a nonpartisan election, and the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff if no one obtains a majority vote. The runoff is slated for June 2.

rod.guajardo@journalinc.com

Twitter: @rodgjournal

 

Collins, Sparks latest to qualify in race

TUPELO – State Sen. Nancy Collins and Tishomingo County attorney Daniel Sparks are the latest candidates to officially qualify in the race for Mississippi’s 1st District Congressional seat.

Collins

Collins

Collins and Sparks turned in petitions Thursday with signatures from at least 1,000 registered voters to the Secretary of State’s office ahead of the qualifying deadline Friday.

Four of the 13 candidates who announced intentions to run in the race have yet to turn in signatures. Those candidates include Columbus businessman Boyce Adams, Pontotoc native and Memphis emergency room physician Starner Jones, Columbus businessman Danny Bedwell and Columbus businessman Sam Adcock.

Sparks

Sparks

The special May 12 election was called following the death of Congressman Alan Nunnelee, who died Feb. 6 following a battle with cancer.

The candidates will run together in a nonpartisan election, and the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff if no one obtains a majority vote. The runoff is slated for June 2.

rod.guajardo@journalinc.com

Twitter: @rodgjournal

 

Holliday, Ross qualify for Congressional race

TUPELO – Tupelo dentist Ed Holliday and Eupora lawyer Henry Ross qualified Thursday for Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. Congress.

Holliday

Holliday

Holliday and Ross are the latest candidates to have gathered and submitted 1,000 signatures from registered voters to the Secretary of State’s office ahead of the qualifying deadline Friday. 

District Attorney Trent Kelly of Saltillo, Oxford attorney Quentin Whitwell, Tupelo attorney Greg Pirkle, Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert and Itawamba County prosecuting attorney Chip Mills are the other candidates to qualify.

That leaves six candidates left to qualify by Friday. The remaining candidates include:  state Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo; Tishomingo County attorney Daniel Sparks; Pontotoc native and Memphis emergency room physician Starner Jones; Columbus businessman Boyce Adams; Columbus businessman Danny Bedwell and Columbus businessman Sam Adcock.

Ross

Ross

In a press release issued Thursday, Holliday said he was proud to have his petition signed by voters in each of the 22 counties that make up the district.

“Our campaign continues to gain momentum and we are looking forward to spending then next several weeks visiting with voters throughout the district,” Holliday said. “We will share our message of placing America back on track and restoring our economy through constitutional conservative leadership.”

The special election was called following the death of Congressman Alan Nunnelee, who died Feb. 6 following a battle with cancer.

The candidates will run together in a nonpartisan election, and the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff if no one obtains a majority vote. The runoff is slated for June 2.

rod.guajardo@journalinc.com

Twitter: @rodgjournal

 

Tagert qualifies for Congressional special election

TUPELO – Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert also qualified Wednesday for Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District seat.

Tagert

Tagert

Tagert joins four other candidates who have gathered and submitted 1,000 signatures from registered voters to the Secretary of State’s office.

That leaves eight announced candidates left to qualify before the Friday deadline for the May 12 nonpartisan election. A runoff, if necessary, will be June 2.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Tagert said he was humbled by the outpouring of support and encouragement he has received since announcing his candidacy.

“I look forward to traveling the 1st District over the next seven weeks and continuing to share my record of conservative results as Transportation Commissioner as well as my conservative vision to restore America’s strength at home and abroad.”

Pirkle becomes fourth candidate to qualify for race

TUPELO – Tupelo attorney Greg Pirkle officially qualified Wednesday for Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District seat.

Pirkle

Pirkle

Pirkle is the fourth candidate to have gathered and submitted 1,000 signatures from registered voters to the Secretary of State’s office. District Attorney Trent Kelly of Saltillo, Oxford attorney Quentin Whitwell and Itawamba County prosecuting attorney Chip Mills of Fulton are the other three candidates to qualify.

That leaves nine candidates left to qualify before the Friday deadline. The remaining candidates include: Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert; state Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo; Tishomingo County attorney Daniel Sparks; Pontotoc native and Memphis emergency room physician Starner Jones; Columbus businessman Boyce Adams; Eupora attorney Henry Ross; Columbus businessman Danny Bedwell; Tupelo dentist Ed Holliday and Columbus businessman Sam Adcock.

The special election was called following the death of Congressman Alan Nunnelee, who died Feb. 6 following a battle with cancer.

The candidates will run together in a nonpartisan election, and the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff if no one obtains a majority vote. The runoff is slated for June 2.

rod.guajardo@journalinc.com

Twitter: @rodgjournal

 

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Mills becomes third candidate to officially qualify for race

TUPELO – Itawamba County prosecuting attorney Chip Mills officially qualified Monday for Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. Congress.

Mills

Mills

Mills is now the third candidate to have gathered and submitted 1,000 signatures from registered voters to the Secretary of State’s office. District Attorney Trent Kelly of Saltillo and Oxford attorney Quentin Whitwell are the other two candidates to qualify.

That leaves 10 candidates left to qualify before the Friday deadline. The remaining candidates include: Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert; state Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo; Tishomingo County attorney Daniel Sparks; Tupelo attorney Greg Pirkle; Pontotoc native and Memphis emergency room physician Starner Jones; Columbus businessman Boyce Adams; Eupora attorney Henry Ross; Columbus businessman Danny Bedwell; Tupelo dentist Ed Holliday and Columbus businessman Sam Adcock.

In a press release issued Monday afternoon, Mills said he believes his deep roots put him in touch with the people and values of the district.

“Today I officially qualified to run for Congress and am very thankful for the volunteers who helped acquire the 1,000 signatures necessary,” Mills said. “I am proud to say that the signatures came from several North Mississippi counties. My goal is to serve all 22 counties of the 1st District, and I am focused on the issues that matter most to the people of North Mississippi.”

The special election was called following the death of Congressman Alan Nunnelee, who died Feb. 6 following a battle with cancer.

The candidates will run together in a nonpartisan election, and the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff if no one obtains a majority vote. The runoff is slated for June 2.

rod.guajardo@journalinc.com

Twitter: @rodgjournal

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Hudson becomes first Republican to vote for Medicaid expansion

JACKSON — A tiny break quietly surfaced last week in the Republican fortress that has blocked expansion of Medicaid in Mississippi to cover primarily the working poor as is allowed under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act.

State Sen. Billy Hudson of Hattiesburg became the first Republican legislator to vote for Medicaid expansion.

It was “kind of a vote” for Medicaid expansion that could cover as many as 300,000 working Mississippians. An amendment was offered to the Medicaid appropriations bill stating that no funds would be expended on Medicaid until the state expanded Medicaid as is allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican majority in the Senate killed the amendment. But Hudson voted for it.

In the past, Republicans in unanimity have opposed all efforts to expand Medicaid.

The argument some make is that besides the good achieved by providing health insurance to people, expanding Medicaid also would help struggling Mississippi hospitals. Currently, many hospitals are having budgetary problems in part because of the large percentage of people they have to treat with no medical insurance and no ability to play.

Mississippi Republicans say the state cannot afford the expansion, even though the federal government pays the bulk of the costs.

Many Republican-led states in recents years have relented in their opposition and expanded Medicaid.

Whether Hudson’s vote is the beginning of the softening of that opposition in Mississippi remains to be seen.