Barbour, Eaves Meet In Biloxi For First Gubernatorial Debate

John Arthur Eaves Jr. dares to dream for a new day in Mississippi, while Governor Haley Barbour challenges people to take a look at his record. On the issue of insurance, the candidates explained their plans for progress.

"We need the federal government to require an all perils insurance.  We need the federal government to have a catastrophic disaster reassurance program," Barbour said.

"We need a governor who has not represented those insurance companies before, who's willing to say his hands are not tied and willing to stand up to them," Eaves said.

The candidates also posed questions to each other. From the Barbour camp, the governor asked Eaves what he would have done different in the aftermath of Katrina.

"I would not have signed waivers that would not allow people to get back in homes. I would have stood up to the big insurance companies," Eaves said.

Eaves posed the question, who does Governor Barbour serve? Eaves accused Barbour of not being open about his finances, but Barbour said the Mississippi Ethics Commission said otherwise.

"They said it was legal and being reported properly, and that's that," Barbour said.

The two also addressed their approach to rebuilding some of the hardest hit areas on the coast, particularly in Hancock County. Barbour again pointed to his record, his efforts to get forgivable loans and millions of dollars in grants for the cities.

Eaves, on the other hand, said he would stand up to insurance companies not willing to pay and do whatever it takes to get the cities back.

Besides plans for progress, the candidates also threw a few political punches.

"My only problem with Haley Barbour is that he kept too much of the bacon for himself, his friends and his family," Eaves said.

"If you leave here thinking you don't know what he would do as governor, I understand. Cause he doesn't know either," Barbour said.

After the hour long debate, it will ultimately be the people of Mississippi who will decide who really knows how to lead the state.