Congressional candidates speak at luncheon
Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 17, 2014
Four of the Mississippi candidates for the U.S. Congress were represented at the Greater Picayune Republican Women at a luncheon Friday afternoon.
U.S. Representative candidates Steven Palazzo and Tavish Kelly and U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel spoke to the crowd.
Kent Alexander, U.S. Congress candidate Tom Carter’s campaign manager, spoke for Carter who was at his daughter’s kindergarten graduation.
Both Kelly and Carter are Pearl River County residents.
Kelly co-owns Kelly’s Firearms in Nicholson with his brother and Carter is a resident of Carriere and senior executive at SEI Investment Company.
“I like to think I’m your candidate because I’m from your town,” Kelly said.
Kelly added that he thinks Mississippi needs new congressional leadership that will “champion” their freedoms and liberties.
“We have to have people who aren’t going to just follow the pack, but instead lead the pack in newer and better directions and I think I can provide it for you,” Kelly said.
Alexander said Carter decided to run for Congress because he had the knowledge and business experience needed to “get the economy back on track.”
“Tom was wanting to go to congress to represent all of south Mississippi in the sense that he was going up there to work for you and not for the party or anyone else,” Alexander said.
While both Kelly and Alexander focused on their local ties and qualifications, Palazzo and McDaniel focused on the failures of the president and Senator Thad Cochran.
McDaniel started his speech with the statement that the government is failing.
“We are 17.5 trillion in debt,” McDaniel said. “We owe 200 trillion in unfunded liabilities. We borrow roughly .46 out of every dollar we spend just to get from point A to point B. That is not the Republican way. That’s not our party’s way.”
McDaniel said Cochran voted twice to fund the Affordable Care Act, 20 times to raise the debt ceiling and 13 times in the last 10 years to raise the debt ceiling.
“New leadership is required. A new era is required. He had his time and perhaps at the time it was fashionable to spend like that. Perhaps it was fashionable to be reckless. My children deserve better,” McDaniel said.
He said Mississippi has had to depend on other Senators to do the right thing in Washington D.C. instead of Cochran. McDaniel referred to the political work of Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz.
“I assure you if you send me to Washington, then I will join them. A son of Mississippi will stand by Sen. Cruz’s side and Sen. Lee’s side. That’s the fight we have to engage in,” McDaniel said.
Current Congressman Steven Palazzo shared his accomplishments during his term in office. Palazzo is fighting to keep his seat in Congress.
Palazzo said he has voted four consecutive years to cut spending and has worked to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, but won’t stop until it’s been completely repealed.
He said two-thirds of federal spending is mandatory spending, which Congress doesn’t get to vote on. For the last two years, he has introduced a balanced budget amendment, which he said was voted down in the House of Representatives by the Democrats.
“I am voting for you and your families,” Palazzo said.
He also spoke about the recent flood insurance rate legislation that prevented homeowners from experiencing 400-4,000 percent increases in their premiums.
“I listened to people here in Mississippi, went to work, built a bi-partisan, bicameral nationwide coalition and we fixed it. We capped the rates. We reinstated the grandfathered properties and stopped the home sales trigger,” Palazzo said.
Also at the luncheon, Ray Mitchell announced his intent to run for Pearl River County District II Supervisor.