Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann this week announced where he would like to be come next January; serving as the state’s Lt. Governor.
Hosemann, a Republican who has been Secretary of State for three terms, Tuesday announced in Rankin County his candidacy and embarked on a 10-stop statewide tour. One of the stops Wednesday afternoon was to Michael Hatcher and Associates, a landscaping firm that has grown to more than 100 employees since a move from Tennessee into DeSoto County, along Center Hill Road.
Hosemann, speaking with the DeSoto Times-Tribune after the Wednesday announcement, said he looked to his grandchildren as inspiration for his candidacy.
“We have seven grandchildren, including one just four days ago,” Hosemann said. “I know that Mississippi needs to concentrate on an educated workforce. infrastructure and jobs, including for my own grandchildren. It was an easy selection for me.”
Because the Lt. Governor has a powerful position in the state government regarding state budget and legislation, Hosemann said the next person occupying the office will have a strong say in the state’s future.
“The government has been set up, since 1990, with a very strong Lt. Governor and Speaker,” Hosemann said. “They control all of the budget matters, which is billions and billions of dollars, and all legislation comes through the Lt. Governor and Speaker. They have the power to have things accomplished and I have an agenda that includes education, making sure our teachers are paid properly, infrastructure and health care issues that I think can make Mississippi better.”
Education funding and more money for teachers from the state would be a top priority under Hosemann.
“I plan to make that one of my number one goals,” he said about better school funding and pay increases. “To have an educated workforce you have to have teachers and they have to be adequately compensated. I plan to increase teacher pay every year that I am elected, not just during an election year.”
Business attraction and growth for the state is another area Hosemann sees as important to the Magnolia State.
“I’m a large proponent of small business in Mississippi and the fact they have such a large impact,” Hosemann noted. “More than half of the people actually work for small business and I want to make sure they have the same opportunity to grow large like Hatcher (and Associates) did.”
As Secretary of State, Hosemann successfully delivered on all his promises to voters. Mississippi’s voter ID law, effective in 2014, is now supported by 81 percent of Mississippians and remains among one of the few in the nation which has never been challenged in court. Hosemann automated the formation of and filing requirements for businesses, and has helped raise $1 billion for public schools through 16th Section leases during his tenure.
Raised in Warren County, Hosemann spent the majority of his professional life as a businessman. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Notre Dame, a law degree from Ole Miss, and a Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University. He is a former partner of Jackson-based law firm Phelps Dunbar, LLP. Hosemann also served his country in the United States Army Reserves.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.