The lineup features Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn, State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, Attorney General Jim Hood, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, State Auditor Stacey Pickering, Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, Central District Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey, Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, State Sen. Giles Ward, R-Louisville;, State Rep. Scott Bounds, R-Philadelphia; Circuit Judges Marcus Gordon and Vernon Cotton, Chancery Judge Joey Kilgore, and District Attorney Mark Duncan.
Also speaking this year will be MSU President Mark Keenum, Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones, and East Central Community College President Billy Stewart. The Neshoba County Fair Board also invited University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett and Jackson State University President Carolyn Meyers to speak as well, but both had scheduling conflicts.
After watching political speeches at Neshoba since my childhood in the 1960s, I can tell you that neither politicians nor those who live at the Fair particularly mind the “off” political years. The pace slows down, the speeches are usually funnier and more personal, and the heat and tension of the campaign years is absent.