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Slay challenges incumbent Robinson in District 84

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
July 19,2003
Eric Robinson, a Republican who has represented District 84 in the Mississippi House of Representatives since 1993, has a challenger in the Aug. 5 primary.
He is John Slay, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 1999 and is back to try again.
District 84 includes the western part of Lauderdale County, the southeastern tip of Newton County, the northeastern tip of Jasper County and most of Clarke County.
Slay is originally from Quitman, he is single and his family runs a small business. He sat down with The Meridian Star's editorial board this week to talk about his hopes for winning the race.
The Meridian Star: Why have you decided to run for the state House. What is driving your campaign?
John Slay: I think everybody should serve their government to the best extent that they are able, and if you're not willing to work for what you want, then you deserve the representation you get.
The Star: Is this something that you've always thought about doing?
Slay: No. My family has had a small business in Clarke County, Slay's Processing, for over 100 years and the legislation that keeps being forced down our throat and other small businesses in the state are slowly driving them out of business.
In 1969 to 1970, there were nearly 300 state-inspected slaughterhouses in the state of Mississippi. Now there are 29.
The Star: You said your family has always had a small business in Clarke County. What do you do there?
Slay: We custom and wholesale retail pork.
The Star: What kind of legislation are you referring to that is being forced down your throat?
Slay: Well, beauty shops for instance have to have a separate building for the shop, separate from the house. And a lot of ladies that graduate from school can't afford to build a separate building for no reason.
The Star: Do you have any other examples?
Slay: The state meat inspection program is under state law and the laws change and very seldom are the people that are affected by the laws know anything about it until after it's too late.
The Star: Is that something the Legislature does or the state Department of Agriculture as far as regulations?
Slay: The laws have to pass through the House of Representatives. The Department of Agriculture has put things into effect that have no bearing on state law.