JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is aiming for Mississippi’s highest office.
The Democrat is running for governor in a field of four candidates.
“This is my first time in Neshoba County speaking at the fair,” Shuler Smith told a crowd under the hot pavillion Thursday.
Five days before the Democratic Primaries, Robert Shuler Smith, stomped for votes at the Neshoba County Fair in his bid for governor.
“My record of service reflects trust, experience and reliability,” said the gubernatorial hopeful.
The Jackson native attended Forest Hill High School and is a graduate of Tougaloo College and the St. Louis University School of Law.
He’s served as Jackson’s City Prosecutor, a Hinds County Public Defender, had a private law practice for five and a half years and served as Hinds County District Attorney for 12 years.
His platform is “One Mississippi and a Mississippi for all”.
“We can not move beyond 50 and 49. We’ve never been beyond some of those numbers as long as we’ve had career politicians in place and we’re not going to move further if we don’t have someone different like me,” said the office seeker.
Shuler Smith supports teacher pay raises and fully funding education, citing that his grandfather was one of the original founders of Head Start in MS.
He said he will represent the interests of communities, support farmers’ growing hemp and marijuana related products- which could fund education and infrastructure, teacher pay raises and fully funding education.
"When you talk about the lottery the threshold for the funding to kick in to education and infrastructure is $80 million dollars," said the candidate. "That needs to be lowered. That needs to be changed".
According to Shuler Smith, he is one of the only candidates to voice his opinion on the state flag.
"The flag certainly needs to be changed to represent all Mississippians," said Shuler Smith. "The leaders have to recognize that that is something that drives people away and keeps people from coming here to Mississippi".
The Hinds County D.A. has had his own legal troubles. In 2017 he was found not guilty of two felony charges of conspiracy to hinder prosecution and one misdemeanor count of counseling a defendant, charges brought by the Attorney General's Office.
The next year the 48 year old was found not guilty of robbery and acquitted of aggravated stalking in Rankin County.
“People should be concerned about the competency and the ethics of someone who would work so hard to spend state resources to attack and falsely accuse their political opponent. that is unethical. That is unethical, and they should be looking at the actions of the state Attorney General Jim Hood,” said Shuler Smith.
The DA said he will use his family ethics of hard work to improve the state.
"Mississippians should vote for me because I truly care about all people in the communities," Shuler Smith added. "I've demonstrated that throughout my career. That's where I come from. I come from a strong civil rights background for all people".
He faces Jim Hood, Velesha Williams and Albert Wilson in the August 6 Democratic Primary.