By NEMS Daily Journal
Canton attorney Jim Herring is heading the transition for Gov.-elect Phil Bryant, who will succeed Haley Barbour on Jan. 10. Herring, a former Court of Appeals judge and former chair of the Mississippi Republican Party, answered three questions from Daily Journal capitol reporter Bobby Harrison on how the transition is going.
Q: CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE about your duties in leading the transition?
A: AS CHAIRMAN OF THE TRANSITION, I am working closely on a daily basis with the transition and inaugural staff as together we work on the many issues that have to be accomplished between now and mid-January. In addition to the events and activities surrounding the inauguration, the transition specifically works on putting together a staff for the new governor’s office as well as the various state agencies’ staff that have gubernatorial oversight. There are many good, qualified people currently serving in state agencies but there is also a natural change and evolution that occurs with the new administration, so there will be some changes made and that will ensure that Gov.-elect Phil Bryant will be able to shape the administration in accordance with his policies, principles and priorities for the next four years.
Q: HOW IS THE TRANSITION GOING? Is it anticipated that Gov.-elect Bryant will have most of his team in place before taking office?
A: THE TRANSITION IS GOING VERY WELL. Gov.-elect Bryant is working extremely hard and the transition staff is equally as focused on getting as much done as possible prior to the new administration starting in mid-January. It is anticipated that Gov.-elect Bryant will have most, and possibly all, of his team in place before taking office. That is the goal and while there are many factors that influence that process, everyone is working hard and diligently on making sure Gov.-elect Bryant has his team, his policies and agenda for next year ready as soon as possible.
Q: CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE about what goes into a successful transition? What are some of the major obstacles and priorities?
A: WITH THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S HOLIDAYS all taking place during the middle of the transition process, clearly there are time constraints and challenges in that regard. In that sense, combined with the date set for the inauguration of Jan. 10, time is an obstacle, but that also provides everyone with a perspective to focus closely on the task at hand. I believe a successful transition process begins by first having a governor-elect like Phil Bryant who people are so excited about because of the overwhelming vote he received in November. Clearly, he has strong support across the state and that will help provide momentum going into January as he takes office. I know that Gov.-elect Bryant is very committed to doing what he proposed during the campaign, so I think the transition always has that in mind as it sets the stage for the next four years.