Barbour: Miss. should not underestimate itself

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

BILOXI — Gov. Haley Barbour says expanding the Mississippi State Port of Gulfport is a long-term project that will create thousands of jobs and strengthen the state economy.

The Republican, now in his final year as governor, spoke Friday at the Mississippi Press Association Convention in Biloxi. He says Mississippi’s per-capita income has improved during his seven years in office, and the next governor will need to focus on creating higher-paying jobs.

Mississippi remains one of the poorest states in the nation. Barbour says Mississippians sometimes underestimate themselves, and “too many people got comfortable with the idea that if we’re just not last, everything’s OK.”

Barbour says he’s still deciding what to do when he leaves office. He says he might write a book about disaster recovery, focusing on Hurricane Katrina.