BY EMILY LE COZ
TUPELO – You don't have to explain sacrifice to Brian Neely.
The Democratic candidate for Roger Wicker's former U.S. House of Representatives seat has known sacrifice all his life – as the nephew of an Air Force member who lost his life in Korea, as the relative of another war veteran who lost his leg in Vietnam, and as a Marine Corps captain in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Now, Neely wants to put that sacrifice to work for residents of Mississippi's 1st District.
“Most people in the community know that I'm a grassroots guy,” said Neely, a private practice attorney in Tupelo and a former Lee County prosecuting attorney. “I've worked on organizing campaigns and run a lot myself and to be quite frank, people right now are really suffering.”
Neely, who lost his most recent bid for county prosecuting attorney, said he would use his position as a U.S. representative to grow the area's economic wealth.
“In this district, what you have to understand is that if you don't have infrastructure … you are automatically disqualified” from new job opportunities, Neely said. “You need federal funding for that, and my job as a congressman is to get the type of infrastructure they need to lure these businesses.”
Other priorities if the former federal court law clerk wins the seat would be keeping communities safe and making sure all high school students graduate with a diploma – not simply a certificate of completion.
“Education, economy development and … safer communities,” said the father of three daughters. “Those three things are key. If they are in place, you prosper.”