By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – The November elections will be relatively quiet in Mississippi, but that won’t stop the state’s top politicians from flocking to the Neshoba County Fair this week.
The annual political speeches begin today at the historic fair. All eight statewide elected officials, as well as first-term House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, are scheduled to speak under the tin-roofed Founders Square Pavilion.
Since state officials will not be on the ballot this year, much of the focus likely will be on national politics where Republicans are expected to dominate in Mississippi.
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, a Tupelo Republican, will be on the ballot but is not expected to attend the fair with Congress in session. His Democratic opponent, Albert Gore Jr. of Starkville, a retired military chaplain, will speak on Thursday as will two third-party candidates challenging Wicker.
Republican state Auditor Stacey Pickering, Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves will speak today.
The other five statewide officials, plus the House speaker, will speak on Thursday. Thursday will culminate with Gov. Phil Bryant speaking at Founders Square for the first time as governor.
10:20 a.m. – Auditor Stacey Pickering
10:30 a.m. – Attorney General Jim Hood
10:40 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves
U.S. Senate candidates:
9:10 a.m. – Thomas Cramer, Constitution Party
9:20 a.m. – Shawn O’Hara, Reform Party
9:30 a.m. – Albert Gore Jr., Democrat
9:40 a.m. – Supreme Court candidate Earle Banks, Central
9:50 a.m. – Supreme Court Chief Justice William Waller Jr.,
10 a.m. – Treasurer Lynn Fitch
10:10 a.m. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney
10:20 a.m. – Ag Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith
10:30 a.m. – House Speaker Philip Gunn
10:40 a.m. – Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann
10:50 a.m. – Gov. Phil Bryant