But lesser-known names also will challenge. Foster, elected to the Legislature in 2015 and known for introducing several conservative bills primarily focused on social issues, has said he was quietly thinking about running for a year. He called Republican leaders from around the state in recent days to gauge their support.
On the Democratic side, Velesha Williams, a retired Jackson State University employee and former U.S. Army officer, said she is running as a “viable alternative” to Hood and Reeves. She is a newcomer to the state political scene and pitches herself as different from career politicians — “individuals who are job-hopping.”
Williams acknowledged that “candidates such as Jim Hood and Tate Reeves have probably got some funding head starts,” but that doesn’t worry her, she said. “It just lets me know we have work to do.”
Here is a rundown of those who have announced they are running for statewide office next year and those who are considering a run. Names are listed alphabetically for each office.
WJTV – Canton Alderwoman indicted on voter fraud charges
The Mississippi Division of Medicaid has named Dr. Carlos Latorre as the agency’s first full-time medical director.
Dr. Latorre earned two degrees in geology and worked at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg for six years before deciding to study medicine. After seven years of experience in family medicine, Latorre is switching gears again as he joins the Mississippi Division of Medicaid as the medical director.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Latorre first came to Mississippi after high school to attend the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), following on the heels of his brother and sister who had already relocated to the Magnolia State. After earning his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in geology at USM in 1992 and 1994, respectively, he spent two years working at the John C. Stennis Space Center before being recruited by the ERDC and moving to Vicksburg.
Gov. Bryant helps announces Williams-Sonoma expansion
Williams-Sonoma is expanding its upholstered furniture manufacturing operations by opening a facility in Baldwyn, Miss. The project will create 350 jobs over five years.
We were happy to announce the expansion today with representatives from the company and community leaders. pic.twitter.com/dp4lJ69UKa
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) December 6, 2018
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced $38-million in federal transportation grants for Mississippi.
The monies were awarded under the BUILD (Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development) grant program.
Twenty-five million will be used to widen Mississippi 19 to four lanes stretching from Meridian to Philadelphia.
Thirteen million has been designated for improvements to Holly Springs Road. The DeSoto County road has damaged by overuse and chronic flooding. Crews will elevate the roadway, replace five bridges and realign dangerous hairpin curves.
The Mississippi Supreme Court says the owners of a Choctaw County power plant must honor a jury’s award of over $599,000 in tax payments. NRG Energy sued Choctaw County claiming the tax offices were using the wrong formula to determine the taxes. The county countered it was using the only formula authorized by the legislature. NRG says the company should have been granted a change of venue in the civil trial because the county leaders were all well known by jury members.
Mississippi is suing three opioid distributors for failing to prevent the diversion of those drugs into the state.
The complaint, filed in Hinds County Circuit Court, against Cardinal Health, McKesson Corp. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. alleges the companies breached their legal duties to “monitor, detect, investigate, refuse, and report suspicious orders of opioids.” Attorney General Jim Hood, in a news release, says that is a violation of the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act.
WCBI – Improving education in the Magnolia State
Yazoo City native Haley Barbour’s roots run deep in Mississippi and the area he has called home since birth.
“My mother is partially Choctaw,” he says. “My great-great-great-great grandfather was Louis LeFleur, who founded Jackson. His son, Greenwood LeFlore, sold what is now Yazoo City to some land speculators from Clinton in about 1820.”…
…“Marsha and I first made the decision before I went to the White House in 1985 that we were going to stay here, and that really has worked out for us. I’ve been national party chairman, and I’ve been a lot of things in Washington and other places, but this is home.”
Barbour is not the first Yazoo City resident to think that way. Comeidan Jerry Clower came to Yazoo City to work for Mississippi Chemical in 1951 and called it home for most of the rest of his life.