VOL. 130 | NO. 47 | Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Tagert Joins 8 Others in North Mississippi US House Race
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert of Starkville on Monday joined the expanding field for a vacant congressional seat in north Mississippi.
The Starkville resident is at least the ninth person to announce as a candidate in the race to succeed Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who died of brain cancer Feb. 6.
Candidates' qualifying deadline is March 27. The election is May 12, and a runoff is June 2.
Tagert, a 44-year-old Republican who has been the elected state transportation commissioner for the northern third of the state since 2011, has said he lives 4 or 5 miles outside the 1st District, but has said he could move into the district if elected. All of the congressional district is inside his transportation commission district.
"North Mississippians want high quality jobs - not more federal regulations and new taxes that tie up too much of their hard-earned take-home pay in bureaucratic red tape," Tagert said in a statement. "President Obama doesn't respect our Constitution or our laws and continues to bypass them for the sake of political ideology and expediency."
Though the election is non-partisan, many of the candidates have held office under a political party before or have clearly identifiable party affiliations.
Those running include Columbus businessman and former Republican appointee Boyce Adams, Columbus businessman and Libertarian candidate Danny Bedwell, Republican state Sen. Nancy Collins of Tupelo, Republican district attorney Trent Kelly of Saltillo, Fulton attorney Chip Mills, Tupelo attorney Greg Pirkle, Oxford attorney Daniel Sparks and Oxford attorney and former Republican Jackson City Councilman Quentin Whitwell.
The 1st District stretches from the Memphis, Tennessee, suburbs of DeSoto County southeast to the Golden Triangle area. It includes Southaven, Oxford, Tupelo, Iuka, Columbus and Louisville.
Nunnelee served 15 years in the state Senate before he won election in 2010. Nunnelee was sworn in for his third two-year term in January while he was hospitalized in his hometown of Tupelo, but was unable to return to Washington because of his illness.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.