Democrats pitch job creation during stump speeches

NESHOBA COUNTY, MS (WLOX/WLBT) - With statewide elections now less than a week away, the crowds were big this year at the Neshoba County Fair. The two major democrats running for governor, Hattiesburg mayor Johnny DuPree and Clarksdale businessman Bill Luckett both had 10 minutes to speak under the Founders Square pavilion.

First up speaking before a packed Founder's Square crowd was Luckett. He brought along an old friend, his tool belt. "I build things, he said. "This is the tool belt I've used for the last 15 years in rebuilding Clarksdale."

He also called for education at an earlier age. "We must implement early childhood education and sustain the momentum right on through to the career path choice that is made," Luckett said.

Hattiesburg mayor Johnny DuPree talked about jobs, specifically in his city. "We've created an environment in Hattiesburg to create a 1000 jobs last year, one of the only cities in the state that has been able to do that," the mayor boasted. "And we've created another 1000 jobs this year with an average of 40,000 dollars a job."

DuPree also offered his thoughts on education. "Most people want to reform education," said DuPree. "We're talking about restructuring education. When you restructure education, when you restructure anything, that means that it doesn't look like what it did when you started out."

Luckett returned to his building theme. "I can build a future for this state. I can build schools where there is good discipline and the best teachers we can," Luckett said.

DuPree returned to jobs. "We need to make sure reward those small businesses in Mississippi so they can expand, so they can create more jobs than they do now," said DuPree.