Coast forum attracts 9 of 11 Miss. gov candidates

By The Associated Press

LONG BEACH, Miss. (AP) — Gubernatorial candidate Dave Dennis says he’d use his private-sector experience to fill a “leadership void” when fellow Republican Haley Barbour leaves office early next year.

Democrat Bill Luckett says that if he’s governor, he wants to boost Mississippi by expanding early childhood education.

Democrat Johnny DuPree is citing a record of job creation as mayor of Hattiesburg.

And, Republican Hudson Holliday says he wants to help Mississippi climb off the bottom of national rankings for education and income.

They were among the nine gubernatorial candidates speaking Wednesday night during a forum at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

The only two candidates not participating were Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, who’s the top fundraiser, and former state employee James Broadwater. They’re both Republicans.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.