Jason Shelton


In Mississippi one of the greatest powers of the governor is known as the “bully pulpit.”

It is this power that makes it crucial that we elect a governor who has the right temperament. I have known Attorney General Jim Hood for more than 20 years. I have seen firsthand his temperament and demeanor in the courtroom, the halls of government, and everyday life. He is exactly the type person we need as governor and why I am endorsing Jim Hood for governor.

The governor’s election is unique in that both major candidates have been statewide officials for more than a decade. We have first-hand knowledge of the temperament, demeanor, and personalities of each candidate. I have spoken to Republican and Democrat officials from all over the state who are quietly supporting Hood, but are afraid of the well-known political retaliation tendencies of Lt. Gov. Reeves. I refuse to let fear for my political future prevent me from campaigning for the best candidate.

When a person is campaigning that is as nice as they will ever be, so it is imperative that we look at each candidate’s actions in office. When looking through that lens, the choice of Jim Hood for Governor is clear.

Public education is the bedrock issue in this year’s election. Hood is a proud supporter of public education while Lt. Governor Reeves has spent the past eight years blocking funding for public schools and diverting public funds to benefit wealthy private schools.

In our local school districts there are 13,764 students and 2,079 teachers and staff. Our public schools have a direct impact on every single family. It is imperative that our state has a governor that will do right by our students and teachers, not shift public funds to private schools. The candidates’ records make clear that Hood is the right choice for public education.

Another key issue is health care and Tupelo is home to North Mississippi Medical Center, the nation’s largest rural hospital. Because of our state’s failure to act, Mississippi hospitals have closed and many are at financial risk of closure. Hood will enact policies to allow more than 300,000 additional Mississippians to receive health care coverage. This will stop the financial damage to our medical facilities that currently are losing $600 million in uncompensated care annually. Doctors and medical facilities will receive more compensation and patients will receive more care.

Our state’s infrastructure is in desperate need of attention and we have again seen a failure to act. The Mississippi Economic Council has sounded the alarm for years about our roads and bridges. The state’s failure to act has a direct negative impact on the ability of our partners in economic development to recruit industry to Mississippi.

Hood has pledged to work with both parties to enact a comprehensive road bill that will enable MDOT and our local governments to address our transportation crisis.

Workforce development, protecting the state retirement system (PERS), fiscal responsibility, and working with local governments are additional issues which make him the best choice for governor.

As a local prosecutor and attorney general, Hood has a proven track record of cooperation in helping all levels of government work. He has never been focused on consolidating power or punishing political rivals.

The way a person acts on their path to being governor is the best indicator of how they will act as governor. This is precisely why Jim Hood should be our next governor.

JASON SHELTON is the mayor of Tupelo. Readers can contact him at jason.shelton@tupeloms.gov

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