Secretary of State unveils latest edition of Blue Book

By Bobby Harrison
Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON – A short bio on Gov. Phil Bryant to a litany of U.S. Census information, such as how Mississippians commute to work, can be found in the latest edition of the Blue Book.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann unveiled the newest edition of the Mississippi Blue Book on Tuesday at his state Capitol office.

“We have worked to make this not only a history of Mississippi, but a look at where we are going,” said the second-term Republican secretary of state.
Hosemann, whose office is the handler of official state documents, is tasked by state law with producing the Blue Book. Many states produce versions of blue books that provide various information and statistics. The origin of the name blue book goes back to a 15th century publication in England, according to various accounts.

The Mississippi Blue Book contains the election results for the past four-year period, information on all the state agencies, local governmental entities and a list of past statewide officeholders. The book does not contain information on the municipal elections that were held earlier this summer. That information will be placed in the online edition that can be found at www.sos.ms.gov and will be updated monthly as changes occur, such as an elected official resigning and a new person ascending to that post.

The latest volume of the Mississippi Blue Book is 840 pages, and like many past editions, has on the cover a photo of the state Capitol – this time focused on the ornate dome and gold-plated eagle that rests atop the structure.
Hosemann said he wanted the newest volume to depict “the faces of Mississippi – people who portray the hard-working, determined sprit of Mississippians. The intellect, drive, dedication and determination in their faces mirror our own, and we are pleased to highlight their accomplishments.”

Most of those faces are successful business leaders of the state, such a former Democratic Secretary of State Dick Molpus, who is president of the Woodlands Group. From Northeast Mississippi, highlighted are Hassell Franklin of Houston, chief executive officer and founder of the Franklin Corporation, a furniture manufacturer that employs more than 1,300, and his son, Mark, who is the chief operations officer; and Augustus L. “Leon” Collins, who is adjutant general of the National Guard and a Booneville native.

About $100,000 has been budgeted thus far for the publication of the Blue Book. During the first round, 10,000 books were published. Additional printings are usually ordered during the four-year cycle of each edition. For the previous edition, about 22,000 books eventually were published.

A free edition of the book can be obtained by phoning the Education and Publications Division of the Secretary of State’s office at (601) 359-6344 or it can be viewed online at www.sos.ms.gov.

bobby.harrison@journalinc.com