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Moore: Look beyond party politics

By By Terry R. Cassreino / assistant managing editor
Aug. 1, 2003
PHILADELPHIA Mike Moore marked his last appearance at the Neshoba County Fair as state attorney general by urging fairgoers to look beyond a person's race and political party affiliation.
Moore, in his fourth term and not seeking re-election, said he has had a successful working relationship with state Auditor Phil Bryant who happens to be a Republican.
Moore thanked his wife, son and staff at the attorney general's office for supporting him through his four terms. When he steps down, he said, he wants to be remembered for his work with children's issues.
And even though Moore will leave office in January, he left the door open for a return to public service.
Fighting okra
On Wednesday, a man in a full-length cat costume paraded around the fair promoting Republican gubernatorial candidate Mitch Tyner's Web site that rips fellow Republican Haley Barbour:
On Thursday, a man in a full-length okra costume paraded around the fair ridiculing Democrat Ronnie Musgrove's flirtation earlier this year with the presidency of Delta State University.
The okra costume may have looked odd but only if you aren't familiar with Delta State. The Cleveland, Miss., state university's mascot is an okra, a plant whose green pods are used for soup, stew and gumbo.
Shellie Purvis, a Barbour supporter from Brandon, gently guided the giant, oversized okra through the crowds near where Musgrove met with news reporters following his campaign speech.
Purvis also held an oversized poster that said: "Governor: $101,800; DSU Pres: $200,000; Losing Both: PRICELESS!"
Top issue
Democrat Jim Hood, a district attorney from North Mississippi, told the fair that the race to become the next state attorney general will hinge on experience and he's has the most.
Hood worked under Moore from August 1990 to November 1995 as an assistant attorney general. While there, Hood ran the drug forfeiture unit of the public integrity division.
Hood's sole opponent in the Nov. 4 general election, Republican Scott Newton of Ridgeland, told fairgoers a day earlier that he has the best experience because he is a former FBI agent and assistant U.S. attorney.
Newton also said he didn't think anyone should be automatically inherit Moore's job, a direct jab at Moore's support of Hood.
Hood brushed those comments aside: "I have the experience. He needs to remember he's running against Jim Hood."