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MPB Series: Governor’s Candidates Race To The Primary, Phil Bryant

By Rhonda Miller | Published 20 Jul 2011 12:31am | comments
Phil Bryant takes his campaign for Governor to a Gulfport drugstore.

The primary election in Mississippi is August 2 and candidates for state wide offices face a grinding schedule before the first ballot is cast. In a series of reports, MPB news will examine the campaigns of the top gubernatorial candidates. MPB's Rhonda Miller reports from the campaign of Republican Gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant.

Keeping up with Phil Bryant on the campaign trail, it doesn’t hurt to wear running shoes. He started this Tuesday morning at a coffee shop in Pascagoula, then did a radio interview in Jackson County.  Now he’s in a Gulfport restaurant, then out the door, and down to the corner drugstore with the lunch counter.

Bess Ward of Biloxi is eating lunch and says knows what she wants the next governor to do.

"Really be here for us when the storms come," Ward says. "I lost everything I had. Everything. My insurance walked away. So somebody who really will fight for us."

Bryant is greeted warmly at table of men having coffee. One of the men is Oren Miller who says issues are important, but he will choose a leader.

"Get the right man who is conservative and follow the ethical principles that we’re built on," Miller says.

Bryant talks about the tax cuts he supports to bring more business to Mississippi. And he’s clear about the issues most important to voters.

"It’s about jobs, it’s about health care, it’s about education," Bryant says.

Bryant has some specific plans for education.

"New programs in schools, where  you can take  math and science part of the day and go to a community college and learn a modern work skill," Bryant says.

 Retired teacher Sherry Long of Long Beach agrees the candidates need to offer details on their plan for schools.

"I think they need to do something about this testing mess they’ve created. And the economy. Jobs," Long says.

Bryant talks about the number of oil and gas companies investing in Mississippi and the importance of expanding the port. He stops by a barber shop and a pizza place. And it’s still before noon.

After Gulfport, Byrant will stop at a  business that’s expanding in Sandy Hook, then go on to more campaigning in Rankin county. In the evening, Bryant will be in Richland for one more event where voters get to meet the candidates.

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Phil Bryant takes his campaign for Governor to a Gulfport drugstore.


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