Chris McDaniel and Delbert Hosemann square off at Neshoba County Fair

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 7:42 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Wednesday’s day of political speeches at the Neshoba County Fair was just as hot as the weather. Candidates got their chance to make a pitch from voters across the state all in one place.

That includes the lieutenant governor’s race. Current Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann facing two primary challengers in Tiffany Longino and Chris McDaniel.

McDaniel started off calm.

“I need to be clear about something, I do not dislike Delbert Hosemann, I respect Delbert Hosemann.”

Then he gets right to business, saying he’s the only candidate that can move the state forward. And he questions some of the decisions Hosemann has made while in office.

“Delbert Hosemann stood in the way of us getting rid of the income tax, he fought against religious exemptions for vaccinations, he stopped in cold tracks the ballot initiative process, he pushed himself a pay raise, he pushed the legislature for a pay raise, he killed term limit legislation, he blocked a recall mechanism.”

McDaniel used most of his speech attacking Hosemann. Accusing him of being a Republican in name only. If elected, McDaniel says he doesn’t plan to work across the aisle with Democrats, which is something he says Hosemann often does.

“Since he’s been LG, I served with only 16 Democrats, for some reason, he appointed 13 of those Democrats to powerful chairmanships,” said McDaniel. “For some reason, he used the power of re-districting to eliminate a conservative Republican, but he saved every Democrat in the chamber for another four years.”

Now once McDaniel wrapped things up, he waited around to ask Delbert Hosemann for a debate. Hosemann he did not respond to that offer.

While he didn’t address that debate question, he addressed the claims that are being made in ads by the McDaniel campaign.

First up is one you’ve likely already seen and heard...the claim that Hosemann is tied to an abortion clinic. He says represented that clinic in some tax matters prior to any such procedures being offered.

“I’m pro-life,” said Hosemann. “My opponent is pro-lie.”

And Hosemann thinks the way the race is playing out is drawing attention away from what matters.

“They have been negative, and that’s difficult for all of our family and whatnot,” added Hosemann. “There’s no discussion about taxes or infrastructure or education, things that we’ve been doing, it’s all negative...So, I thought it was time to be poignant.”

He kept the gloves off for the speech to supporters.

“Now he’s using hundreds of thousands of dark money out of state money to try to buy your election,” he said from the podium.

Hosemann continues to work on painting a picture of contrast... of his record versus McDaniel’s lack of legislative achievements.

“He’s not a smoke and mirrors politician,” Hosemann said of McDaniel. “He’s a vapor. He doesn’t work at all. He doesn’t show up for work. Despite my opponent’s best... oh, let’s hear it... despite my opponent’s best efforts. We’ve had the best four years in the history of Mississippi.”

And he’d like to see the work the legislature started continuing with more investments in education, infrastructure, healthcare, and a renewed discussion on tax cuts.

“You know, there’s only one person in public office that’s really as despicable as my opponent, you can get rid of him on August the eighth,” said Hosemann.

Primaries are on August 8. Both candidates are making their final push for votes.

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