Special election Senate candidate Tobey Bartee spoke to a group of Millsaps students on Tuesday in the Leggett Living Room on campus. Bartee’s approach to being a good legislator is about looking at data and the institution itself and then focusing it on the needs of Mississippi right now.

“The primary reason I’m running is two fold. One issue, we are not effectively prepared to compete in the coming decades,” said Bartee. Bartee told students he sees four issues on the long term scale that could prevent the state from moving forward if not addressed. Those include education, poverty, infrastructure and healthcare. Bartee said that while officials in the state tout a decrease in unemployed Mississippi, the lowest in the state’s history, he says the jobs being brought in are from the low to middle range. “If you’re looking at pressures from across the globe, and technological forces like IA, those workers are going to be displaced and we need to have a conversation for what that means for our workforce and for the state,” said Bartee. After Bartee finished, he took questions from students. Several students asked his stance on multiple topics including foreign policy, security in schools, boarder control and immigration. Bartee is the least well known of the four candidates in the special Senate election. He is up against current seat holder Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, former Congressman Mike Espy and State Senator Chris McDaniel. Bartee was born in Gautier, Mississippi. He graduated from Pascagoula High School before attending the United States Naval Academy. He served as an intelligence officer for the U.S. Navy with the Department of Defense before working for the Department of State as a Management Consultant in the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. He later went to work for Homeland Security before returning to school for a Masters of Public Policy and Education Policy.