JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Part of what makes these Neshoba speeches interesting this year is the timing. They’re happening less than a week out from the primary.
But the race that drew a big crowd Wednesday was the Lt. Governor’s race, and it’s not expected to be a primary fight.
Republican Delbert Hosemann does have a Republican challenger in Shane Quick. Quick has never held public office and many fair-goers were seeing and hearing from him for the first time Wednesday. Democrat Jay Hughes doesn’t have any primary opponents.
Hughes and Hosemann are getting a jump start on jabs ahead of what they anticipate to be a general election fight.
“It’s likely going to come down to Mr. Hosemann and me," said Jay Hughes. "It may not. And he’s a good man but we have different experiences. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and I was born with a plastic spoon in mine.”
“It’s beyond me how you can work for four years in the legislature and have so little influence,” said Delbert Hosemann as he referenced Hughes.
That idea of experience played a big role in the way Hughes and Hosemann talked to the fair crowd.
“Look at my record," said Hosemann. "I don’t over-promise. I deliver.”
“I believe that those life experiences and my values are what make me the best candidate for Lt. Governor,” said Hughes.
But there was clear common ground on several issues, specifically the need to strengthen public education.
“Mississippi will only succeed if public education succeeds,” noted Hosemann.
“I believe from the bottom of my heart that it all starts with public education and that’s public education,” Hughes explained.
When asked what separates them, here’s what they say.
“I’m going to be able to be elected and go in and serve the people and do what’s right instead of what’s popular and what special interest wants,” Hughes said.
“The biggest one is I can do it," Hosemann said. "Realistically we’re going to have a Republican Senate and Republican House and my ability to work and lead is critical.”