District 106 candidates speak out

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

All five District 106 candidates met at Jack's Fish House on Saturday to speak to members of the public and answer questions just before Election Day on Nov. 8.  Photo by Julia Arenstam

All five District 106 candidates met at Jack’s Fish House on Saturday to speak to members of the public and answer questions just before Election Day on Nov. 8.
Photo by Julia Arenstam


All five candidates for the Mississippi Legislative District 106 seat gathered Saturday to discuss their platforms just before Election Day on Nov. 8.
The event was sponsored by the Pearl River County Executive Committee, a Republican Party organization, and held at Jack’s Fish House in Carriere.
This was the first event where all five candidates attended and answered questions from constituents.
Candidates in attendance were John Glen Corley, Larry D. Davis, Greg Holcomb, Benjamin Winston and Daniel Wise.
Even though candidates are not required to identify with a political party during special elections, all five expressed their conservative values, to varying degrees.
Candidates were randomly assigned seating and speaking order by pulling numbers out of a bowl.
Executive Committee member Charles Pharr moderated the event, allowing each candidate a three minute introduction and then three minutes to respond to questions from the audience.
Wise made the first introduction by saying “one of the gentlemen in this room is going to be your representative.”
The other candidates followed Wise’s introduction, speaking to the audience about how they want to represent the District in Jackson.
Equating the local economy to planting seeds and helping them grow, Davis said, “Being conservative means you plant one big crop and make it last seven years.”
Most candidates expressed their desire to better the community and stimulate the economy by bringing in more jobs and improving the education system.
Holcomb said he believes education reform should focus on reducing standardized testing and lowering the student to teacher ratio, especially in early grades.
“This is a hiring decision,” he said.
Other candidates listed their experience in politics, saying it will help them work with other politicians as well as private corporations.
“I have a lot of experience in life, and certainly in politics,” Winston said, as former Mayor of Lumberton and Supervisor in Lamar County.
Davis previously served as a Pearl River County Supervisor.
Not all of the candidates have political experience. Those that don’t have that experience have a background in business.
Corley said Pearl River County should become a hub for industry through workforce training at institutions such as Pearl River Community College.
Building off Davis’ analogy, Corley said the county “needs to take these crops, plant that seed and do everything right…then just like we do in agriculture, we revaluate and do better next year.”
Candidates then answered questions from the audience about campaign reform, term limits, house committees, bringing jobs to the area and what makes them uniquely qualified.
While the candidates widely supported some degree of campaign reform, they disagreed as to how far that reform should go.
Davis disagreed with other candidate’s statements that private corporations should have no role in politics because of the bias it creates, saying, “You do have to work with corporations, but you don’t have to be bought.” He added that corporations are “what have made this country great.”
Holcomb said he disagrees with any policy that allows politicians to keep remaining campaign funds after an election, though he had no issue with accepting outside donations.
“The more they give you, the more control they have over you,” Winston said, referring to large donations from corporations.
Wise said he will continue to refuse funds from political action corporations, special interest groups or large corporations.
“If you need to take that money, you need to go back to work,” he said.
Corley added that, like Wise and Winston, he is working to finance his own campaign and has been working with the Secretary of State’s office to ensure transparency.
All of the candidates agreed term limits for state legislative seats should be established, of two or three four-year terms.
The special election will be held in conjunction with the general election on Nov. 8.
The District 106 candidates all encouraged voting-aged citizens to participate and make their voice heard.

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About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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