Haley Barbour's name is already well-known in political circles. He served two terms as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Barbour currently heads a top GOP lobbying firm in Washington.
Many Republicans credit his fundraising efforts, for helping the GOP regain power in the U.S. House and Senate last Tuesday. Haley Barbour said "The president's agenda, in terms of taxes, spending, the war on terrorism, dealing with Iraq, all of these things, many of which have been bottled up, will be dealt with in a open way".
Barbour says Mississippi will also reap the benefits of a GOP-dominated Congress. For instance, he expects Mississippi federal judge Charles Pickering, will finally get to sit on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats blocked his nomination last time. Barbour said "I think the nomination will go forward and he will be approved".
Barbour believes Mississippi now needs a new leader - a Republican leader. He said "The next governor, if he can do a good job of engaging and deploying our senators and working with President Bush, that it can mean a lot. It will pay big dividends for Mississippi".
That's why the 55 year old admits he's setting his sights on the Governor's mansion. Barbour said "Stone County is the 56th county I've visited this year. So you can tell I'm serious about the Governor's race. I won't make a final decision until later this year". And expect that announcement after the first of the year.
After his speech, Barbour helped honor a Stone County native for his service and dedication to the GOP. Nick Owens received the Trent Lott Award, given by the Stone County Republican Party.