Bryant to make governor campaign official

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant will announce his campaign for governor Monday and Tuesday during stops in seven Mississippi cities, including Tupelo.

The 56-year-old Bryant is about to embark on his fourth year as lieutenant governor. It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in Mississippi politics that he’s running for governor in 2011.

Bryant’s schedule calls for announcements Monday in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Pearl, Meridian, Tupelo and Southaven. He will be Indianola on Tuesday.

The Tupelo announcement will be at Hawkeye Industries at 3:30 p.m.

Bryant has served one term as lieutenant governor.

Bryant has spent most of his adult life in politics. He was a Hinds County deputy sheriff before representing Rankin County in the state House for five years. In 1996, then-Gov. Kirk Fordice, a Republican, appointed Bryant as state auditor when Democrat Steve Patterson left the job. Bryant was elected auditor in 1999 and 2003, and lieutenant governor in 2007.

March 1 is candidates’ qualifying deadline for statewide offices.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour cannot succeed himself.

Others prominent names lining up for governor include Republican Gulf Coast businessman Dave Dennis and Democratic candidates Bill Luckett, a Clarksdale lawyer, and Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree.

Bryant’s schedule calls for announcement Monday in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Pearl, Meridian, Tupelo and Southaven. He will be Indianola on Tuesday.