Growing up in Jones County, I often found myself cruising down Old Bay, watching plays at the Laurel Little Theatre, or enjoying a milkshake at the still-delicious P.D.I.’s. Early on in the Free State, I learned about how our neck of the woods contributed to a state, regional, and global impact – from companies like Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry producer in the United States, to Howard Industries, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of distribution transformers.
What I didn’t realize, however, is that our county’s footprint went beyond these corporate giants. In fact, Jones Countians can also take pride in the Pine Belt’s impact on the state’s political class.
Rickey Cole, the head of the Mississippi Democratic Party, hails from Ovett. A candidate for state agriculture commissioner in 2007, Cole has been involved in more than 20 Democratic political campaigns since 1982. Splitting his time between Ovett, where he still helps manage the family farm, and Jackson, where he serves as a consultant with the Eaves law firm, Cole has a long history of Democratic activism across the state. His contributions to the Democratic Party haven’t gone unnoticed, as he is currently in his second term as chairman of the Democratic Party.