Studio portrait of Sid Salter. (photo by Beth Wynn / © Mississippi State University)

By: Sid Salter

There will be just over seven hours of political speaking at the 2019 Neshoba County Fair, but most of the attention will focus on a half-hour on Thursday morning, a half-hour on Thursday afternoon, and a half-hour or so on Wednesday afternoon.

Gubernatorial contenders Tate Reeves, Jim Hood, and Bill Waller Jr.speak back-to-back between 10:10 to 10:40 a.m. on Thursday. The Attorney General contenders speak Thursday afternoon back-to-back. The secretary of state candidates will speak back-to-back on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, July 30, Neshoba County candidates for offices from constable to county supervisor to sheriff will speak. The most hotly contested local race is for sheriff with five candidates with three Republicans and two Democrats. It’s instructive to note that 10 of the 12 local candidates speaking at Neshoba are Republicans.



On Wednesday, July 31, there will be 22 candidates speaking seeking district and statewide offices with 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats. Speakers will include: at 8:30 a.m., Bruce Barton (D), Central District Public Service Commission candidate; 8:40 a.m., DeKeither Stamps (D), Central Dist. PSC candidate; 8:50 a.m., Ryan Brown (D), Central Dist. PSC candidate; 9 a.m., Brent Bailey (R), Central Dist. PSC candidate; 9:10 a.m., Nic Lott (R), Central Dist. PSC candidate; 9:20 a.m. incumbent Central District Public Service Commissioner Cecil Brown (D). Brown is not seeking re-election.

Other Wednesday speakers include: 9:30 a.m., Robert Amos (D), Insurance Commissioner candidate; 9:40 a.m., incumbent Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney (R); 9:50 a.m., incumbent State Auditor Shad White (R); 10 a.m., incumbent Central District Highway Commissioner Dick Hall (R), who is not seeking re-election; 10:10 a.m., Ricky Cole (D), candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce; 10:20 a.m., incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson (R); 10:30 a.m., Lt. Gov. candidate Shane Quick (R); 10:40 a.m., Lt. Gov. candidate Jay Hughes (D); and 10:50 a.m., Lt. Gov. candidate Delbert Hosemann (R).

The Wednesday political speaking will be divided, as usual, by a break for the traditional Meridian Day program from 11:15 a.m. until 1 p.m. Resuming the political speeches will be: 1 p.m., Butch Lee (R), Central Dist. Transportation Commission candidate; 1:10 p.m., Marcus Wallace (D), Transportation Commission candidate; and 1:20 p.m., Willie Simmons (D), Central Dist. Transportation Commission candidate.

The final Wednesday Neshoba County Fair speakers will include: 1:30 p.m., Maryra Hodges Hunt (D), Secretary of State candidate; 1:40 p.m., Johnny Dupree (D), Secretary of State candidate; 1:50 p.m., Michael Watson (R), Secretary of State candidate; and 2 p.m., Sam Britton (R), Secretary of State candidate.

On Thursday, August 1, there will be 19 candidates speaking seeking statewide offices with 10 Republicans, seven Democrats, an Independent and a Constitution Party candidate. Speakers will include: 8:40 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Bob Hickingbottom (Constitution); 8:50 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Albert Wilson (D); 9 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Michael Brown (D); 9:10 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Velesha Williams (D); 9:20 a.m., gubernatorial candidate David Singletary (independent); and 9:30 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Robert J. Ray (D).

A break from the gubernatorial candidate parade will come at 9:40 p.m., when Speaker of the Mississippi House Philip Gunn will address fairgoers as has become tradition.

Gubernatorial candidates will then continue including: 9:50 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Robert Foster (R); 10 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Robert Schuler Smith (D); 10:10 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Bill Waller, Jr. (R); 10:20 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Jim Hood (D); and at 10:30 a.m., gubernatorial candidate Tate Reeves (R). Gov. Phil Bryant will speak at 10:40 a.m., his eighth and final NCF speech as governor.

Following a break for the Coastal Mississippi Day, Thursday political speaking will resume, including: 1 p.m., Treasurer candidate David McRae (R); 1:10 p.m., Treasurer candidate Buck Clarke (R); 1:20 p.m., Attorney General candidate Andy Taggart (R); 1:30 p.m., Attorney General candidate Jennifer Riley Collins (D); 1:40 p.m., Attorney General candidate Mark Baker (R); and 1:50 p.m., Attorney General candidate Lynn Fitch (R).

For more information, visit www.neshobacountyfair.org.