JACKSON -- Make no mistake about the fact that Bennie Turner, D-West Point, was an effective state senator for District 16 until near his death this past Tuesday from brain cancer.
But people who were not familiar with Turner before his 1999 bout with meningitis that nearly took his life and severely impacted his hearing do not know the full measure of the man. Turner was a unique legislator in that he was a commanding presence without trying to be, a calming influence and a deep thinker.
He was a rare politician who did not speak unless he had something significant to say and then was measured in what he said.
Many believed he was destined for historic accomplishments in Mississippi politics before the illness.