NESHOBA COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It may be a trip back in time for most people, but it also can shape the political futures of the men and women seeking statewide office. Even though the election for governor is more than a year away, coast native Dave Dennis has to be here, shaking hands and greeting people.
"It is mandatory, virtually mandatory for any candidate that is serious about a statewide initiative to be active at Neshoba, not just the year of an election," Gubernatorial Candidate Dave Dennis said. "We've been coming here off and on for 12 to 15 years."
And running for the state's top job is no easy task, not with hundreds of people to impress on a daily basis.
Dennis said, "Our day consists of hitting the ground at 8:00 in the morning, going to cabins, because if you go a little earlier a lot of folks are not up and going yet. Last night, we left here at 11:15 p.m."
No matter who the candidate is or what job they are running for across the state, they all say the same thing, being here at Neshoba is very, very important to their campaigns.
Billy Hewes is a state senator from the coast, but he wants to be the next lieutenant governor. He hopes coming here will make that goal a reality.
Hewes said, "If you're a serious candidate, you have to be at the Neshoba County Fair, and get around the state. But this is where anybody who follows politics is interested in where people stand, or if you want to get exposure in a very concise area, this is a great place to be."
Even candidates running for congress come here.
"Because what's important in the Fourth Congressional District is important in the First, Second and Third. And they know that, and they want everyone to have an opportunity to come here and speak to the audience because quite frankly, I've seen a lot of people from the 4th Congressional district here today," 4th District Candidate Steve Palazzo said.
Statewide elections will be held in November of 2011.