HED: Renick: Experience gives unique perspective

READ-IN: The Ashland resident was chief of staff for both Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and Lt. Gov. Briggs.

By Errol Castens

Daily Journal Oxford Bureau

ASHLAND - Democrat Bill Renick stood Wednesday in Ashland, which elected him as alderman at age 18, to formally announce his candidacy for governor.

"As a former alderman, mayor, county supervisor, state senator, and chief of staff to both a lieutenant governor and a governor," he said, "I believe I have a perspective on our state government that few can rival."

A large crowd of supporters cheered as Renick promised to veto unfunded legislative mandates, to help cut grocery taxes and raise cigarette taxes and to improve education.

"My priorities in health care will be more access and greater affordability," he said. "I'll provide it without turning my back on the Mississippians who need help the most."

Renick said he helped secure seed money for the Wellspring Project, which Tuesday culminated in the announcement of a Toyota plant to be built on the site near Blue Springs.

"I was proud to be there as the chief of staff to see the project started," he said. "I'll be proud to cut the ribbon in 2009 as the governor of Mississippi."

Hometown supporters praised their favorite son profusely.

Said Ashland Mayor Bill Stone, "I can't think of anyone I'd rather entrust the future of the state of Mississippi with than my good friend Bill Renick."

"He's always brought back to this county and to these people here to help us," added Benton County Circuit Clerk Martha Mitchell.

Ashland resident Thomas Lakey said, "He's done more for North Mississippi than anybody I know."

One other Democrat, Jackson attorney John Arthur Eaves, has announced for governor.

Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens at 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com

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