Barbour to bring new campaign for governor to Natchez

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 20, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Newly announced Republican gubernatorial candidate Haley Barbour will visit Natchez today, meeting with supporters at a reception at the Eola Hotel.

The reception begins at 2:30 p.m. and is part of Barbour’s weeklong tour of Mississippi towns.

He publicly announced his campaign plans on Monday in his hometown, Yazoo City.

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&uot;He’s going to talk about the need for strong leadership,&uot; Barbour campaign spokesman Quinton Dickerson said Thursday. &uot;He believes Mississippi can do better with strong leadership.&uot;

Among the issues Barbour is pushing are lawsuit reform, getting control of spending and making education a top priority, Dickerson said.

&uot;He’s also going to talk about his opposition to any tax increases,&uot; Dickerson said.

Barbour has had a hectic schedule this week, traveling the state to promote his campaign. He is the first Republican to announce his intent to seek the GOP nomination for governor, and qualifying ends a week from Saturday.

Barbour, 55, ran for office once before, as the GOP Senate nominee in 1982, but he has been a political player for most of his life.

He served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1993-1996, weathering a campaign finance controversy , and he was an organizer in presidential campaigns for Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. In 1995 he was White House political director for Reagan.

Barbour has a law degree from the University of Mississippi, and a scholarship program is endowed in his name at Mississippi State University.

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove has not yet announced his re-election campaign, but he is expected to run again.

Mississippi’s party primaries will be held Aug. 5, and the general election is Nov. 4.