By Chad Wicker
Note: The following op-ed article is submitted by Chad Wicker, Hernando Ward 4 alderman
As we gear up for the high-speed campaign season, I wanted to share a few thoughts with the good folks of DeSoto County about the upcoming legislative races. These races hold immense importance for the future of our county, which has long been a Republican stronghold. The outcome of the contested races will largely be decided in the Republican primary this August.
First and foremost, I want to commend all the candidates for their courage and determination in putting their names forward for public office. Running for office is no easy task, and it can certainly place strains on family and personal life. However, it is crucial that this election be decided based on facts and truths, rather than on misleading statements and falsehoods.
There appears to be a candidate for lieutenant governor who has been elevated to almost messianic status by some of the local legislative candidates in DeSoto County. These candidates seem to hang on to his every Facebook post. One of this gentleman’s talking points revolves around the current lieutenant governor appointing 13 Democratic members to committee chairmanships in the state Senate. However, what this candidate conveniently fails to mention is that previous lieutenant governors have done the same. During his first term, Tate Reeves appointed 16 Democratic members to committee chairmanships, and Phil Bryant appointed 19 Democratic members. Strangely enough, there was no outcry from anyone back then. It’s important to note that the current candidate for lieutenant governor was a member of the state Senate during both of those terms. This serves as a prime example of a misleading statement designed to win an election by attacking someone else. Shouldn’t we be having an election centered around real issues?
Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that a local candidate for state Senate has made lowering property taxes one of his agenda items if elected. While this may seem like a lofty goal, the truth is that millage rates for property taxes are set by cities and counties, not the state. I’m not sure how this candidate plans to lower property taxes, perhaps through some form of state rebate. However, I have my doubts that such a proposal would have any chance of passing through the legislature.
If that wasn’t preposterous enough, another candidate for state House representative has stated that the state government should not allocate any funds towards widening Interstate 55, as they believe it is not the role of government. If ensuring the efficient functioning and expansion of our interstate system is not a legitimate function of government, then I must ask, what is?
Lastly, there is a candidate running for state House who proudly declares on his campaign signs that he will be a “conservative fighter” for his constituents. However, what DeSoto County truly needs is not a fighter who will go to Jackson to disrupt and vote against every bill. What we need is a leader who can collaborate with fellow members to achieve results and advance important projects. DeSoto County requires a cohesive state delegation that works together in the best interest of our community, rather than pursuing personal agendas.
In conclusion, let us focus on the real issues at hand and make our decisions based on truth and a genuine commitment to serving the people. Together, we can build a brighter future for DeSoto County.