GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A crowd of about 100 supporters were on hand Tuesday in Gulfport to hear what they've been expecting for the better part of the past year from Senator Billy Hewes.
"Now I'm asking the citizens of Mississippi to allow me the opportunity to continue the legacy of experienced, conservative leadership in the Mississippi Senate as Mississippi's next lieutenant governor."
With his wife and four children by his side, Hewes listed the accomplishments in his 20 year legislative career.
"I was there in the trenches in the Senate fighting for tort reform to improve our business climate so businesses can grow, start and expand without worrying about excessive lawsuits."
While traveling the state, Hewes said one thing is on everyone's mind.
"They want steady jobs, they want better pay, they want more opportunity."
During the 15 minute speech, Senator Hewes compared government to family, saying families have to make realistic budgets, and so should lawmakers.
"Now we have to tighten our belts and live within our means in government." Hewes said. "The alternative is higher taxes on our citizens, who are already taxed too much, or debt based spending. Neither alternative is acceptable to me and I know it's not acceptable to the voters of Mississippi."
Education is also important to the senator.
"Years ago, I created Mississippi's Affordable College Savings Program," the senator said. "That act has served to help Mississippians for generations now send their kids to college."
And with those words, Senator Hewes began a weeklong, 10 city tour around Mississippi, in hopes of doing what no other coast politician has done: become the state's second in command.
Only two coast residents have ever won statewide office. They are Trent Lott, who won a U.S. Senate seat, and Mike Moore, a former Jackson County district attorney, who was elected attorney general.
The party primaries will be held in August. The general election is slated for Tuesday, November 8th.