NEWS on LIFE, WORK, & PLAY in Mississippi's College Town

Candidate Profiles: Mississippi House of Representatives Districts 38 and 43

candidate_profile

House of Representatives, District 38

TYRONE ELLIS

Q&A responses not submitted

 


 

House of Representatives, District 43

PAUL MILLSAPS

What qualifications and experience do you feel you possess that will benefit the office you are seeking?
My experience first as a business owner, and now as a lawyer, have given me the preparation needed to start working for the people of District 43 on the first day I take office. I’m a problem solver. My experience would help me cut waste from the state budget and to be a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. I’ll work every day to help find solutions to the issues that the people of District 43 face. I’ll work with Republicans, I’ll work with Democrats, and I’ll work with independents to get results for the people of Oktibbeha County and Winston County. I’ve always been involved in community service, and I’ve spent a lifetime getting to know people in the district. I know the shared values that people in this area have that are deeply rooted in family and community.

What growth or improvements do you hope to see in the Starkville/Oktibbeha County area in the next 5 years?

I hope that Starkville/Oktibbeha will have a thriving consolidated school district where all students are achieving at a very high level of performance. I hope that our existing businesses and industries are growing and expanding. I also hope that we have attracted more business and industry to our area to add good jobs for our citizens and to expand our tax base. I also hope that Mississippi State University will be continuing its wonderful record of success.

The new Starkville/Oktibbeha School District is an important change for our community. What role do you think the Mississippi Legislature should play in the continued success of public education in Oktibbeha County? How will you advocate for improved public education in Mississippi?

Education will be my top priority if I’m elected because our children deserve a great education. In fact, a great education for the children of our district and our state is the answer to almost every challenge Mississippi faces. Strong public schools are the way to achieve that goal.

Strong public schools start with a thriving and successful Starkville/Oktibbeha School District. I’ll make fully funding our Pre-K through 12th grade education system in Mississippi a top priority. I’ll be the champion in the Legislature for the new consolidated school district every day I serve. We must ensure that the consolidated Starkville/Oktibbeha School District has the support and resources it needs to achieve great success.

What do you think is required for Starkville/Oktibbeha County to gain new economic development success & what role do you believe the MS legislature should play?

The MS Legislature should be supportive of our local leaders’ efforts to grow existing businesses and to attract economic development to this area. Government can create a climate and an attitude where economic development is encouraged and where it can thrive. I’ll work to reduce the burden of unneeded regulation on the businesses and industries in our area. I’ll work to create a state government that provides certainty to our businesses in their interaction with state agencies so they can plan for the future. I’ll work with our local industrial development leaders to provide specific state support for businesses and industries that are considering locating in our area. I’ll work hand-in-hand with our business community to support them, because I owned and operated a small business for most of my life. I know what it’s like to make a payroll. I know the challenges that businesses face in today’s climate. I’ll be the supporter in the MS Legislature for our local business community.

As a legislator representing Starkville/Oktibbeha County, how will you advocate for the continued prominence of Mississippi State in the region and what programs/initiatives do you feel are most important?

Support for Mississippi State will be at the top of my agenda. I’m a proud graduate of MSU, and I’ll be MSU’s champion every day I serve in the Legislature. We must see that our  university gets the resources it needs to continue the great success that it has experienced.

It’s a great time right now at Mississippi State! Wonderful success stories are happening all over the campus and throughout the MSU system. We’re achieving in learning, research, service and athletics.  Mississippi State must get the support from the Legislature that it needs to continue that great track record of success. I’ll work tirelessly as MSU’s advocate if I’m elected.

 


 

ROB ROBERSON

Q&A responses not submitted

 


 

 

MAC SMITH

What qualifications and experience do you feel you possess that will benefit the office you are seeking?
First of all, having been born and raised in Starkville and coming from a large family with deep and ongoing roots here, gives me a strong knowledge of Oktibbeha County, its people and its needs.  It gives me a lasting tie to the people of District 43, and a working knowledge of Starkville and Mississippi State University.  Every job I have ever had involved doing for others.  I live in Sheely Hills in Starkville and love helping my neighborhood be a better place for all involved.  Helping others is my goal in running for office.  I plan to listen to all the people of the district and fight hard for their interests at the Capitol.

What growth or improvements do you hope to see in the Starkville/Oktibbeha County area in the next 5 years?
As for growth there are several factors that need to work together. Consolidating the schools is a huge step now mandated by law, and we must do everything in our power to make it successful.  A great education system will help us attract additional industry, which will have significant direct and indirect effects on our local economy.  It will also help the University attract additional high-quality faculty and staff, which will also contribute to our growth.  As enrollment at MSU increases and our economy grows, we will need to be proactive in developing the county and investing in infrastructure.

The new Stark/Okt Consolidated School District is an important change for our community. What role do you think the Mississippi Legislature should play in the continued success of public education in Oktibbeha County? How will you advocate for improved public education in Mississippi?
The Legislature should provide funding to the schools to allow them to properly function, and ensure that local communities are empowered to make choices, rather than being dictated to by Jackson and Washington.  Everyone in the county needs to be strong supporters of education; high quality education is vital both to quality of life and to the health of our local economy.  A well-educated workforce is the key to recruiting more and better jobs to the area.

What do you think is required for Starkville/Oktibbeha County to gain new economic development success & what role do you believe the MS Legislature should play?
As the state’s leading research institution, Mississippi State has been a key partner in recruiting industry to the area.  I intend to fight every day in the legislature to make sure the University has what it needs to continue being a leader in research, education, and economic development.  I will also work to support a strong partnership between the University and city, county and state officials to support this endeavor.  I intend to be a strong advocate for the district with state economic development authorities and a strong partner for the Greater Starkville Development Partnership and the Golden Triangle Development LINK.

As a legislator representing Starkville/Okt County, how will you advocate for the continued prominence of Mississippi State University in the region and what programs/initiatives do you feel are most important?
As my answers above demonstrate, I believe MSU’s success is directly tied to Starkville’s success, and vice versa.  When I consider votes in the Legislature I will ask myself one simple question: is this good or bad for the growth and continued health of MSU and Starkville?  I will vote accordingly.  I plan to be in regular dialogue with the University’s leadership to advance MSU’s interests, and I also plan to be in regular dialogue with city and local business leaders to help Starkville remain the best place to live, work, learn and raise a family.

 


 

 

We hope you’ll visit our entire Candidate Profile series to get informed about the candidates seeking to represent the citizens of Oktibbeha County at the local and state level. Mark your calendars now for the Primary Election on Tuesday, August 4 and the General Election on Tuesday, November 3. Important decisions impacting the economic development, growth and quality of life in Starkville and Oktibbeha County begin with YOU casting your vote!