Democratic gubernatorial candidate Velesha P. Williams met with Y’all Politics in an exclusive interview at the State Capitol on Thursday to discuss her stance on various issues that she says are plaguing the Magnolia State.

Williams said that she is following her calling by running for Governor.

“I would say, why not now?” said Williams. “But more importantly, it’s that I’m being led by the Spirit. I’m being obedient to the Spirit and the calling upon my life.”

Williams stated that Mississippi is at the bottom of nearly every social ill there is; especially in healthcare, infrastructure, and education.

“I can use the skills and talents that God has given me to make a difference in Mississippi,” said Williams.

On the topic of healthcare, Williams said that Mississippians are suffering, even dying, because if their local hospitals close they are forced to travel sometimes hundreds of miles for healthcare.

“I believe that we can provide affordable healthcare to all our citizens,” said Williams. “We have a moral obligation to do so … I will not reject federal assistance to expand Medicaid.”

Regarding education, Williams said that she believes that parents know best the educational choices for their children, but that failing school districts in the state can be improved.

“I am in favor of quality education,” said Williams. “I believe that our education system as it is today is failing.”

Williams said school districts can be modeled after higher-scoring districts to improve success.

“When we look across the state, we have districts where the performance is poor,” said Williams. “We can look at where we have success and mimic that success.”

Williams said that she also is in favor of decriminalization of marijuana. She plans to get out in front of the media, arrange public speakings and meetings, and up her media coverage to get her platform and message heard and to edge her opponents.

“When people hear what I have to say and the message is spread,” said Williams. “…folks will understand that I am right for Mississippi.”

Williams faces nine others in the Democratic primary for the race for Governor including Attorney General Jim Hood, District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, Phillip West and Albert Wilson.