Blackmon's top priority: Jobs
ON THE CAMPAIGN TAIL State Sen. Barbara Blackmon, left, D-Canton, greets Henry and Sue Daum and Evelyn Polk Wednesday in front of the Lauderdale County Courthouse. Blackmon was in Meridian to kick off her campaign for lieutenant governor. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 26, 2003
State Sen. Barbara Blackmon of Canton formally kicked off her campaign for lieutenant governor in Meridian on Wednesday, saying jobs is the most important issue in the race.
Blackmon, 47, a Democrat and 12-year state legislative veteran, outlined her top issues during a news conference attended by about 30 people in front of the Lauderdale County Courthouse.
Blackmon meets Itta Bena resident Troy D. Brown Sr. and former state Supreme Court Justice Jim Roberts in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary. The winner will meet GOP incumbent Amy Tuck in the Nov. 4 general election.
At stake is one of Mississippi's most powerful offices. Besides serving as second-in-command of the state, the lieutenant governor also presides over the state Senate and can help set the legislative agenda.
Focus on principles
Blackmon said she has as much economic development experience as anyone running for statewide office, and that a person of high principle needs to hold the lieutenant governor's office.
She said her greatest strength as a candidate is her education. At 19 she earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Jackson State University.
She earned her master's the following year from the University of Alabama. She later earned a law degree from Ole Miss and a master's degree in tax law from New York University Law School.
Blackmon also touched on health care during her news conference, saying that a state or community can be judged on how it treats its children and elderly.
Lauderdale County District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith stood close by Blackmon as she announced her candidacy.
He said her communication skills and ability to get a consensus among colleagues are Blackmon's greatest assets.