Tagert prepares ahead of swearing-in on Tuesday

By Joe Rutherford/NEMS Daily Journal

Northern District Transportation Commissioner-elect Mike Tagert on Wednesday began orientation conversations and meetings in preparation for assuming office next week.
He’ll be sworn in on Tuesday before his first commission meeting.
Tagert, a Republican from Starkville, defeated John Caldwell, a Republican from Nesbit, in a runoff Tuesday across the 33-county district. Tagert trailed Caldwell by a narrow margin in the Jan. 11 first round in which seven candidates competed in the officially nonpartisan special election.
Tagert said Wednesday he will be preparing immediately for his new role.
“I want to be up to speed,” he said.
Tagert is head of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Council, headquartered in Columbus but embracing Alabama and Tennessee as well as Mississippi.
The Rankin County native is a graduate of Millsaps College and Mississippi State University.
Tagert said he will immediately begin working with legislators from across the Northern District on a wide range of transportation issues.
During the campaign, Tagert stressed the role and potential of the commission’s impact in all phases of public transportation, including highways, ports, railroads and airports.
Tagert said he has made no decisions about staffing and assistants but would assess that situation in coming weeks.
Tagert carried 23 of the 33 counties in the district. Voter turnout, as predicted, was low – 6.8 percent on Tuesday, a slight drop from the 8.6 percent in the first round of voting Jan. 11.

Contact Joe Rutherford at (662) 678-1597 or joe.rutherford@journalinc.com.