Democratic congressional candidate speaks with Pearl River County Democrats

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2016

Democratic candidate for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District, Mark Gladney, spoke with members of the Pearl River County Democrats on Tuesday about his campaign platforms.  Photo by Julia Arenstam

Democratic candidate for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District, Mark Gladney, spoke with members of the Pearl River County Democrats on Tuesday about his campaign platforms.
Photo by Julia Arenstam


Mark Gladney U.S. Congressional Democratic candidate for Mississippi’s 4th District is talking to voters this month about his political stance.

Tuesday, Gladney spoke with the Item before a meeting of the Pearl River County Democrats about his political ideas in the upcoming election.

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A 27-year Army veteran, Gladney is looking to fill the seat of the incumbent, Rep. Steven Palazzo, who has been in office since 2011.

“I took a look at Mr. Palazzo…and I’ve never seen a more inept, out of touch person who literally fits the stereotype,” Gladney said.

Gladney said his campaign is gaining lots of traction, recently gaining the endorsement of former Mississippi Governor William Winter. He has also been endorsed by many state unions including: Mississippi AFL-CIO, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Building Trade Union and the Machinist Union, according to his website.

“The unions bring a lot to the table,” Gladney said. “I was a union supporter for a long time, but I’m a union believer now.”

He spoke about the benefits of the unions’ apprentice programs, which have no cost to students or taxpayers, Gladney said.

As a means to improve the state’s poor infrastructure, Gladney said he would like to see more work given to unions because they can expand those programs and produce highly-skilled, well-paying jobs.

Under the representation of Rep. Palazzo, over 200 jobs, 122 of which were under union contracts, left Stennis Space Center and were transferred to Louisiana, Gladney said.

“Steven Palazzo has done, and continues to do, a horrible job and is not representative of this district,” Gladney said.

Gladney also spoke about how, if elected, he would be more available to constituents than he believes Palazzo has been.

“He has a history not just down here, but also in Washington D.C. as someone you can’t get in touch with,” Gladney said.

Gladney also criticized Palazzo for his representation of Mississippi veterans. Though he commended Palazzo on the construction of a war memorial in Biloxi, he also said, “How about the veterans that are alive?”

“I want to represent the veterans for real, because I know what it’s like to be a away from your family at a harsh personal cost,” Gladney said.

Representing veterans’ rights is only one of the reasons Gladney said he decided to run for office.

“There’s no representation,” Gladney said. “I’m a single dad…I look at what world I’m going to hand off to her.”

One of Gladney’s first campaign promises is to host monthly town hall meetings in the district.

He said his opponent is known for hosting town hall meetings over the phone and ending calls after questions are posed.

“The question we should all be asking is, where is Steven Palazzo?” Gladney said, criticizing his opponent for a lack of communication with those he was elected to represent.

“Anyone who is a voter in this district has a right to come in and I have to answer to them,” Gladney said.

Gladney also plans to concentrate his campaign efforts on education, infrastructure and healthcare, which he says are related.

An increased amount of federal funding could mean more work for the labor unions and more money generated for apprentice programs, in turn generating more high-skilled jobs in the district, Gladney said.

“I care about veterans, I care about jobs, and I care about people,” Gladney said.

He also criticized the state for turning down federal funding from the Affordable Care Act, calling the action over-politicized.

“You’ve hurt the working middle class people, the single moms and dads busting their humps and behinds and they can’t get ahead because their insurance costs are too high,” Gladney said.

He admitted that he found flaws in the ACA, but they can be fixed.

“This is the beginning of a conversation, not the end, of how we get affordable healthcare to all Americans,” Gladney said.

Gladney will also be speaking Thursday in Jackson County and Saturday in Forrest and Lamar counties.

“My whole life is dedicated to service to the nation and to the community and has been a leader,” Gladney said. “I’ll put that up against anybody.”

About Julia Arenstam

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