Dennis touts business experience

TUPELO – Coast Republican Dave Dennis said Tuesday he will campaign on his experience as a businessman and a community leader in his bid for governor in 2011.
Speaking at Cellular South Networking at Noon event, Dennis declined to formally announce his candidacy, which has been mentioned since early this year, but he responded to an attendee’s question by saying again that he was “very likely” to run.
At a meeting afterward with the Daily Journal editorial board, Dennis said he thinks a more appropriate time to announce would be within a year of the campaign.
Yet he added he is “very clearly moving forward” in his bid for governor. He has formed a political action committee – Dave Dennis for Governor – has hired staffers and is planning two fundraisers in south Mississippi in the coming weeks.
Dennis, who lives in Pass Christian, is the president of Gulfport-based Specialty Contractors & Associates, a commercial and industrial subcontractor. He also is the chairman of Leadership Mississippi, a program through the Mississippi Economic Council.
In addition, he served three terms as chairman of the New Orleans Federal Reserve Board and has been honored for his volunteer service.
These experiences among others, he said, give him the background to be the CEO of the state. He expects when the term starts in 2012 that Mississippi still will be in a financially sensitive environment.
“Politics aren’t going to rule the roost,” he said.
He said that when he was younger, his dad’s advise him that a business should reduce recurring expenses by 10 percent every year. He said that might need to be the future trend for the state.
“Mississippi has to be in a cost-containment mode rather than a revenue-enhancement mode through taxes to balance a budget,” Dennis said.
He discussed several topics with the editorial board, including public education, which he said is “mandatory for the success of the state.”
“The linchpin for the ultimate success of the state is education,” Dennis said. “It’s got to be funded. It’s got to continue to be pushed forward.”

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal