The two candidates for lieutenant governor praised north Mississippi industrial development, but they split over who should get the credit.
Bryant, a former state House member who has been state auditor since 1996, talked about the SeverCorr steel mill and Eurocopter in Columbus and the Toyota manufacturing plant that’s being built in Blue Springs. He linked Mississippi’s civil lawsuit restrictions with Toyota’s willingness to consider the state for its newest North American plant. Bryant congratulated Republican Gov. Haley Barbour for that success.
Franks, who has represented a northeast Mississippi district in the state House for nearly 12 years, credited the PUL Alliance for luring the Toyota plant. Franks said he helped write and pass industry recruitment incentives in 2000, including amendments to allow creation of the PUL Alliance. The group is made up of officials from Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties. Franks said similar regional efforts should be replicated across the state.