Fairgrounds big issue for ag candidates

The candidates for the top job at the state Department of Agriculture and Commerce agree on many key issues facing Mississippi’s farmers, from aggressive country-of-origin product labeling to embracing at least some forms of alternative fuel as a way to create jobs.

But it’s the differences they have on certain issues that could decide whether Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith or Democrat Joel Gill replaces Lester Spell in the Nov. 8 general election. Spell did not seek re-election.

The Reform Party also has a candidate, Cathy Toole. But the Reform Party has never won an election for statewide office in Mississippi. Toole couldn’t be reached for comment.

The winner of the $90,000-a-year job takes office Jan. 1.

Clarion Ledger
10/22/11