It was a Republican pep rally during lunch at the Holiday Inn in Columbus on Tuesday.
Candidates for state and local offices made their appeals for votes, while others just made appearances, at the Lowndes County Republican Women meeting.
The crowd was lively for the event, as the August primaries approach.
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant stirred the crowd, touting the success record of Republican candidates.
The most successful school districts in the state, he said, have one thing in common: Republican elected superintendents.
“We have too many failing districts in Mississippi,” he said, citing Rankin, DeSoto and Madison county school districts as success stories.
“I think there”s a pattern there, and (Republican superintendents) are going to do it right,” Bryant said.
Bryant faces James Broadwater, Dave Dennis, Hudson Holliday and Ron Williams in the Republican primary.
Sam Allison, candidate for Lowndes County superintendent, knows well the anticipation of election results. As a history, government and economics teacher, he”s spent many days trying to “pass that excitement on” to his students, often staying up all night waiting on results.
“Never did I think I”d be running for a political office,” he said. “I”m an educator.”
Allison promised to bring vision and hands-on leadership to the position.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish,” he said, quoting Proverbs.
Allison faces Lowndes County Assistant Superintendent Edna McGill and former longtime administrator Lynn Wright in the primary; both also were at the event.
Candidates for House District 39, which includes Lowndes County, Jack Larmour and Jeff Smith, were also in attendance.
Larmour, a longtime Caledonia businessman, who is challenging incumbent Smith for the seat, said “it”s time to put less red tape and less tax … on small business.”
He promised never to vote for a tax increase on small business or “on individuals in District 39.”
“Never ever will I do that,” he said, noting he is a “lifelong conservative Republican.”
Smith, a former Democrat, who announced his candidacy as an independent this year and then qualified as a Republican, said he has always voted conservatively, even as a Democrat.
“I”m one of yours; I”m going to stay one of yours, and I hope you”ll always accept me,” he said, noting that when he was elected to the House 20 years ago, almost everyone was a Democrat. Since then, he said, many have changed parties.
Several candidates for local and state offices were on hand at the event, including lieutenant governor candidate Billy Hewes. Hewes faces State Treasurer Tate Reeves in the primary.
Commissioner of agriculture candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith and incumbent Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann also spoke at the event, soliciting votes and touting their experience.
Hosemann also took the opportunity to promote the Personhood Amendment, voter ID and eminent domain initiatives, all of which will be on the ballot in November.