TUPELO – Democratic congressional candidate Travis Childers stopped at a Texaco station here Friday afternoon to denounce rising gas prices and offer solutions if elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

“We need to quit depending on foreign oil,” said Childers, who is also Prentiss County's chancery clerk. “We need to start depending on ourselves and explore alternative energy sources.”

As a more immediate strategy, Childers recommended the nation ease the filling of its reserve fuel tanks to boost oil surplus and thereby lower gas prices.

At the Texaco station, on the corner of South Gloster and South Green streets, gas prices posted were $3.54 for regular and $3.78 for premium. Childers estimated they were up 25 percent from last year and said some families can't afford to buy fuel anymore.

“It seems like everyone in Washington is concerned about everything but working-class families,” he said. “I'm concerned about working-class families. I'm concerned about north Mississippians.”

He also said he would not take campaign contributions from big oil companies.

Childers and Republican candidate Greg Davis, mayor of Southaven, will meet in a May 13 runoff election after both led an April 22 special election for U.S. House of Representatives' 1st District seat.

– Emily Le Coz

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