Jackson man protests exclusion of candidates
By By Terry R. Cassreino / assistant managing editor
Oct. 7, 2003
STARKVILLE Even though Landon Huey of Jackson didn't attend the Monday night gubernatorial debate, he drove all the way to Mississippi State University to make a statement.
Huey said all third-party candidates John Thomas Cripps of the Constitution Party, Sherman Lee Dillon of the Green Party and Shawn O'Hara of the Reform Party should have been included.
Huey stood outside McComas Hall holding a sign protesting the candidates' exclusion from the debate. They didn't participate in last week's debate and aren't expected to participate in the final two.
Huey said Dillon, himself, would have driven to MSU to protest if he wasn't teaching a class at Millsaps College on Monday night.
At least eight MSU students stood outside McComas Hall to protest their inability to obtain tickets and attend the debate in person.
Erin Melaney, a senior political science major from Ocean Springs, said she arrived at the student Union on campus at 8:45 a.m. Monday to claim her free debate tickets.
A sign, however, said no tickets were available.
Besides meeting with Republican gubernatorial nominee Haley Barbour at a barbecue outside McComas, members of the MSU College Republicans also talked with several Democrats.
T.J. Harvey, chairman of the College Republicans, said his group treated everyone to hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and soft drinks. Guests included backers of incumbent Democrat Ronnie Musgrove.
Even though Harvey didn't change their mind and shift their support, he said, "there have been a few times (in the past) where we were able to change some minds."
Prior to taking their first question, Musgrove pointed out state Adjutant Gen. James H. Lipscomb of the Mississippi National Guard, who he said had helped the Guard attract more than 10,000 members.
Barbour introduced former MSU president Donald Zacharias and NBA Hall of Famer and MSU All-American Bailey Howell, who played for the Boston Celtics before moving back to Starkville.