JACKSON – A random elevator ride by three Mississippi politicians far away from their constituents was the catalyst to carry one of them to the heights of state politics.
In 1996 at the Republican National Convention in San Diego during a random ride in an elevator, then-Gov. Kirk Fordice shared with state Reps. Mark Formby and Phil Bryant that he might have to appoint an auditor to replace Steve Patterson, who was facing legal issues.
Formby’s memory is that he told the governor that his deskmate on the state House floor, Bryant, would be a good choice should he have to make that appointment.
Bryant recalls expressing interest in the appointment himself.