Daily Journal Jackson Bureau
JACKSON – State Sen. Nickey Browning of Pontotoc, seeking his sixth term in the Mississippi Senate representing District 3, will face political newcomer Christopher Stark of Sherman in the Nov. 3 general election.
Browning switched to the Republican Party in 2013, but maintained then that his priorities or votes would not change.
“I want to continue to be a voice for my constituents in my area,” he said.
Stark, a 29-year-old University of Mississippi psychology student, said he is running because “I am tired of the underfunding of education.”
He said he sees how a lack of funds impacts the learning materials in the public school his son attends.
“It is not right,” he said. “I am tired of being last in everything…Something has to give. My motto is instead of complaining, do something about it.
“My running hopefully is a way to do something about it.”
Browning said he has on numerous occasions supported legislation to provide more funds for education.
“I have supported education for the past 20 years, and I will continue to do so,” he said. “I will continue to support full funding of education.”
Browning said he would like to see changes made to the funding formula to ensure more money for top-performing districts for items such as reducing class size.
The Democrat Stark said he would like to see the schools be able to offer more advanced placement classes and classes that could lead to better-paying jobs.
He also said he supports Medicaid expansion as is allowed under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and added that he believes it would enhance the state to expand Medicaid further than is contemplated in the law.
He said it would be a boon to the economy.
Plus, he added, “I don’t think anybody should go bankrupt just because they get sick.”
Browning said if legislation to expand Medicaid “comes to fruition in the Senate, I will study the bill to see if it will have a positive effect on my constituents and, if so, will vote accordingly.”
Senate District 3 consists of most of Pontotoc and all of Union and Benton counties.