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Carmichael, Burton officially
kick off re-election bids

By Staff
CAMPAIGN BEGINS Republican state Sens. Tom King of Petal, left, and Videt Carmichael of Meridian talk minutes before Carmichael officially kicked off his re-election bid at GOP headquarters in downtown Meridian. King was one of eight Republican senators in town Monday who endorsed the campaigns of Carmichael and state Sen. Terry C. Burton, R-Newton. Photo by Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Sept. 9, 2003
State Sens. Videt Carmichael and Terry Burton officially kicked off their re-election bids on Monday, with Carmichael telling supporters another term will give him a chance to build seniority.
Carmichael and Burton spoke at Republican Party headquarters Monday in downtown Meridian. Eight other Republican senators attended the event to support both men who left the Democratic Party for the GOP last year.
Joining the two were Sens. Mike Chaney of Vicksburg, Billy Hewes III of Gulfport, Tom King of Petal, Dean Kirby of Pearl, Walter Michel of Jackson, Tommy Moffat of Gautier, Charlie Ross of Brandon and Richard White of Terry.
Senate districts
Carmichael is running for Senate District 33, which includes Clarke County and part of Lauderdale County. Burton is running for Senate District 31, which includes Newton and parts of Scott and Lauderdale counties.
Carmichael meets independent Gilford Dabbs III of Quitman in the Nov. 4 general election. Burton meets Democrat Jason Mangum of Newton and independent Luke Gibbon of Hickory in the Nov. 4 general election.
At stake: seats in the 52-member Mississippi Senate, a body that helps craft state laws and the annual state budget. The part-time job pays a base salary of $10,000 a year plus expenses.
Both Carmichael and Burton separately talked about their commitment to constituents.
Voters' voices
Carmichael said he listened when voters wanted a chance to vote on the state flag; he listened to constituents' wishes during redistricting; and that he listened to the medical and small business communities that wanted civil justice reform.
Carmichael also said he listened to his conscience when he switched parties.
Carmichael said he has been endorsed by the Mississippi Right to Life, the National Rifle Association, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Mississippi Realtors Association, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and Mississippians for Economic Progress.
Dabbs, contacted by phone on Monday, declined to comment on the Senate campaign.
Constituent services
Burton, who is seeking his fourth term in office, said the three things he is proudest of in his service is his "accessibility, availability and accountability" to constituents.
Gibbon could not be reached for comment. Mangum, an attorney with an office in Decatur who was contacted by phone, called himself a conservative.
He said the voters need someone who is not controlled by special interests and whose livelihood is not based on being re-elected.