Voters in 33 northern Mississippi counties will go to the polls on Tuesday, January 11, for a Special Election to elect a new Commissioner for the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The winner will complete the remainder of the term of Commissioner Bill Minor, whose untimely death in November created the vacancy. Minor had served in that office since 2003.
The seven candidates seeking election, and their counties of residence are: John M. M. Caldwell, Sr., Desoto; Dennis C. Grisham, Tippah; Joey P. Hood, Itawamba; Larry Lee, Grenada; Warner F. McBride, Panola; Ray Minor, Marshall; and Mike Tagert, Oktibbeha.
This special election will decide who will fill one of the most important state offices according to Kay Cobb, TEA Party Oxford chairperson, stating “The Mississippi Department of Transportation budget is 1.1 billion dollars, and constitutes a substantial portion of the total State budget. The Commissioner’s job requires the highest level of ability, integrity and fairness in not only the expenditure of tax payers money, but also in the research, study, and business decisions which must be made every day in this office.” Due to the large district and timing of this election, voters will have little, if any, opportunity to meet the candidates and learn about their qualifications, plans for MDOT projects, and other critical information. The mission of TEA Party Oxford -“working to educate our citizens”- is particularly important in circumstances such as these, and definitely not limited to just those in the Oxford area, Cobb said.