In assessing the state's future, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s top priorities for a brighter Mississippi include resolving infrastructure problems and refocusing on the state's small businesses.
Hosemann’s first action item, however, relates to Mississippi’s most valuable resources: teachers and children. “For Mississippi to succeed, public schools must succeed,” said Hosemann during his annual Neshoba County Fair speech.
“Spending our taxpayer dollars wisely starts with increasing teacher pay," Hosemann, a Republican, said. "Just adequately funding education is not adequate for me.” While he did not announce a specific bid for higher office, Hosemann said he plans to be on the ballot in 2019—but not as Secretary of State.
“We are excited thinking about Mississippi’s future and how our fresh eyes might envision all the ways we can rise together,” he said.
Hosemann, first elected as Secretary of State in 2007, also highlighted three of his major achievements while in office.
This year, Mississippians celebrate their fourth anniversary with a constitutional Voter ID law.
Hosemann, a champion for protecting the integrity of elections, spearheaded the effort to see the law’s enactment. While other states continue to be embroiled in litigation over Voter ID, Mississippi’s law has yet to be challenged in court.
“You remember some of the liberal Democrats saying 400,000 people would be disenfranchised,” Hosemann said. “We listened to and trusted each other when we were deciding how to shape our Voter ID law. And, instead of disenfranchising anyone, we enfranchised more than 6,000 citizens who now have a free Voter ID inviting them to the polls on Election Day.”
Other achievements including raising almost $1 billion for the state’s schoolchildren through 16th Section leases and overseeing the wholesale revision of Mississippi’s business laws to make it as easy as possible to open up a business and invest in the state.
Hosemann closed his remarks with a request to voters: remember the 3,200 Mississippi National Guardsmen and women defending our rights in the Middle East when considering whether to cast a ballot in November.
“They will not be home for the fair, football season, or Christmas,” Hosemann said. “Our obligation to them is to go vote.”
For more information, visit www.delberthosemann.com.