By Danza Johnson / NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – At a speech Saturday U.S. Congressman Travis Childers made clear he was not giving up his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives without a fight.
In front of a crowd of more than 100 family and friends at his alma marta Northeast Community College in his hometown of Booneville, Childers officially kicked off his campaign for re-election for his District 1 seat. Childers, a Democrat, will be facing Republican Alan Nunnelee in November’s Congressional race. He said he felt good about his campaign and was looking forward to talking to the people of Northeast Mississippi.
“I’m ready to finish the job we started two years ago,” said Childers. “I want to continue to show North Mississippi we are here for them. North Mississippi comes first, that’s my job and that’s what I will continue to do. I feel like we’ve represented the people well, so we put our faith in the people of North Mississippi and we think they will send us back to Washington to continue to work for them.”
The usually soft-spoken Childers had some strong and loud words for his opponent. He called Nunnelee out on several issues.
“My opponent voted to raise taxes for sick people in hospitals and then took a pledge saying he was for lowering them,” Childers shouted to the applauding crowd. “He cut teaching jobs, slashed education funding and is going along with a plan that puts seniors’ Social Security benefits at risk. How is North Mississippi supposed to lift itself up with a record like that?”
Childers also said: “Nunnelee led the charge to put hundreds of school employees out of work and lower the quality of education for our children, even as hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars sit unused in Jackson that could have prevented these layoffs and cuts to local schools.”
John Myers shouted, pumped his fist and applauded as Childers made his pitch to the crowd. When the congressman said: “Make no mistake about it, I am the public education candidate,” Myers leaped from his chair.
“That’s what it’s going to take to turn this thing around, education for our children,” said Myers. “Travis has always had passion and drive and it’s good to be able to listen to a politician speak and be able to feel his passion with every word. He’s our man and we hope to get him back into office.”
Not everyone in the room was there as a Childers supporter. Even though he said he was not supporting Nunnelee, Bill Chambers said he wasn’t sure if Childers was going to be his choice either.
“I heard Nunnelee speak so it was only fair to come and listen to Travis as well,” said Chambers. “I like both men and think they both are fine individuals but that doesn’t mean they’re going to make great congressmen. So now that I’ve heard both men I can start my decision making process as to who the best man for the job may be.”