Holliday for governor informal gathering kicks off campaign with art, picture

Published 2:49 pm Thursday, October 29, 2009

Supervisor Hudson Holliday last week kicked off his run for governor of Mississippi at a large rally at the farm of Darrin and Kristi Harris about four miles north of here, on what is the Corn Maze recreation site. An estimated 300 people attended the festivities.

Holliday told the crowd that his greatest task will be getting his name and message before the voters, saying, “And that’s where you can help.”

“I have found out that people are excited to have someone from this area running for the office. People are excited, and I am humbled by the support and encouragement I have already received,” he said.

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Holliday is expected to appear and speak at the Poplarville Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year luncheon at the Pearl River Community College today.

At Monday’s board of supervisors meeting, Ed Pinero Jr., county economic and planning director, and also mayor of Picayune, commented to the board about the informal kick-off rally: “I just wanted to let everyone here know that Holliday’s kick-off for governor was extremely well attended. Lot of folks attended and there was a lot of energy coming out of it. Things are moving for your colleague and fellow supervisor. Things went real well.”

That prompted a short discussion of Holliday’s candidacy by the board.

Said board president and supervisor Anthony Hales: “I am going to write something about it, and put it where it needs to be put. You can tell a lot about a man when you go up against him. Sometimes we have been on different sides of the issue.”

Hales added, “But up here working with someone, you really find out what a guy is like. And do I think Mr. Holliday can benefit this state. Surely. And I sure would like to have a governor where I could walk into his office anytime I wanted to.”

That prompted a laugh from the audience.

“But seriously, though, I am going to do everything I can to support him,” Hales said.

Joked supervisor Sandy Kane Smith, “He hasn’t announced me as his chief of staff. He will announce me later in the campaign, however.” That set off another round of laughter.

However, when Holliday spoke the room was quiet.

“I know there is a famous saying that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown, but I want to say that since I have announced for governor, people have been so great. They have encouraged me and gotten on board, people who know me and people who don’t know me that well,” Holliday said.

“It’s been a humbling experience and it really does make you feel good, to live in a small community and people come to you like they have. I am just humbled by the whole experience.”

Since announcing his run for governor as a Republican, Holliday’s story, which appeared first in the Item, and was picked up by The Associated Press wire, has appeared statewide in the media.

The “Mississippi Business Journal” did a story on Holliday, and Sid Salter, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger’s blogger and columnist in an e-mail to this writer said Holliday’s key will be how much money he can raise.

Holliday himself in announcing said that he was aware of the daunting task in front of him in making a successful run and said his success will come with being a credible candidate.

Holliday told the Business Journal’s Clay Chandler, “There’s not a whole lot that goes on in Mississippi that I don’t understand. I will be honest with you, I’m tired. I am tired of us leaving our future up to professional politicians that too often, not all of them, are more concerned about their future than they are ours.”

It is still a long time until the governor’s election in November 2011, but some candidates have already said they will run. Besides Holliday, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is expected to run, as is State Treasurer Tate Reeves. Also Coast businessman Dave Dennis has said he will run.

Clarksdale businessman Bill Luckett, a friend of actor Morgan Freeman, has said he will run as a Democrat and is trying to raise money from Freeman’s Hollywood friends, one report said.

Holliday is the sitting supervisor for District 3.

Holliday said that anyone wanting to donate to his campaign can do so by writing a check to Hudson Holliday for Governor and mail it to 1729 S. Main St., Poplarville MS 39470.