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.