BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Both candidates in the U.S. Senate race for Mississippi drew a lot of the attention at Wednesday's county supervisors' convention in Biloxi. Howard Sherman, and David Baria, who finished first and second in the Democratic primary last week, addressed several hundred elected officials from across the State.
The supervisors came to listen and learn. There was plenty to digest, including a lesson on taxes from Howard Sherman.
"In the private sector, you optimize what you endeavor to do, not just by raising your revenue. You do it by lowering your costs," he said.
The private sector was a favorite theme for Sherman.
"We're launching a program that will allow a private sector company to sponsor a bridge. To put a sign up there that says this bridge repaired by Goodyear Tires," the candidate explained.
Baria stressed how being a politician is a noble calling.
"All of us are committed, public servants. When you send me to Washington, you're going to have a man representing you who understands the problems that we have and the issues that we have as Mississippians," he said.
He also criticized Sherman's lack of public policy experience.
"He hasn't been here long enough to know what has to be done and just how hard it is to do it when you're working as a public servant," Baria highlighted.
Sherman declared the federal government is wasteful when it comes to bridge inspections.
"There's no reason to have somebody from Pennsylvania come down and charge $18,000 thousand dollars for something that somebody local would do for $1100 dollars," Sherman explained.
Baria countered the federal government is simply unfair.
"They want to tax us twice by only applying a portion of our taxes to the infrastructure problem and then asking you in our cities and counties to pick up 80% of the tab," said Baria.
Sherman says he's applying for a big job.
"I'm asking to be hired to go to Washington and advocate for the citizens of this State and for you all," he explained.
Baria reached across party lines.
"Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, I think you have to agree with this. We haven't been well represented in Washington," Baria pointed out to listeners.
The runoff between Baria and Sherman will be held a week from Tuesday, June 26th. The winner goes on to face Republican incumbent Roger Wicker in the November general election.