Candidate for governor, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has proposed a debate between Democratic candidates for Governor prior to the August 6 Primary. Previously, fellow candidate Velesha Williams also invited candidates to a debate forum by letter on April 4.

“Republicans have already convened a debate at Mississippi State University earlier this year and I think this election and the issues confronting Mississippi voters demand a similar exchange among Democratic candidates,” said Smith. “I would like to see the other eight candidates on the Democratic gubernatorial ballot share a debate stage. A location in Jackson, MS would make a lot of sense, but I am willing to debate Attorney General Jim Hood and the other candidates anytime, anywhere.”

In Williams’ letter she said: 

“It is important that we as democrats distinguish ourselves from the last fifteen years of the type of representation that Mississippians have endured. Our state has suffered long enough as indicated by being ranked at the bottom or near the bottom of key social indicators. Ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as: 50th in Healthcare, 46th in Education, 48th in Economy, 49th in Opportunities, and Infrastructure, and 45th in Fiscal Stability, we can do better.”

You can read both proposals below:

Robert Shuler Smith 5-22 Press Release by yallpolitics on Scribd

Open Letter Request for Debate from Valesha Williams by yallpolitics on Scribd

Democratic candidates include Attorney General Jim Hood, Velesha Williams, and Robert Shuler Smith.

When contacted, Hood’s campaign said they would not be commenting on the issue at this time.

Republicans in the Gubernatorial race have held one debate so far, between Robert Foster and Bill Waller. The debate was sponsored by the Mississippi State University Republicans group. Lt. Governor Tate Reeves was unable to attend. However, he has  gone on record to say that he’d be willing to participate in a debate with the Republican candidates prior to the August primary.