Candidates should look at all of state

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Let the games begin. On Monday, the worst-kept secret in Mississippi politics became public as Republican Haley Barbour announced his intention to run for governor.

He’s the first Republican to run for the office so far, and the qualifying deadline is March 1. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove is also expected to announce his intention to run again.

It’s logical that Barbour chose his hometown, Yazoo City, from which to make his campaign announcement.

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Later in the day he traveled to Olive Branch, Hattiesburg, Gulfport and Pascagoula.

Today, the second leg of his tour takes him to Meridian, Columbus, Tupelo, Greenville and back to Yazoo City.

While we’re sure that Barbour will be visiting Natchez at some point during the long campaign season, we’re disappointed his two-day initial tour takes him nowhere near southwest Mississippi. We hope he and other candidates will take a look at what they can do to help our area.

This region is hurting from job losses, and we need reassurance of aid from our state and federal leaders. It’s simple politics for them, and it makes the right connections for us.

That said, we’re not looking for handouts &045; just a helping hand, and at least some attention.

We’ve had visits in the past two weeks from politicians who seem to be putting their money where their mouths are. U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., visited Natchez, met with county officials in Washington, and sent staff to follow up with a group of local leaders trying to take action to save the jobs of IP workers.

Is it selfish to ask what have you done for me lately? Not when the region is in the position we’re in.

We urge all the statewide candidates to take a look at all areas of Mississippi &045; and let us know what they can do to help.