Lt. Gov. & Transportation Commissioner Candidates Debate In Biloxi

Phil Bryant and Jamie Franks answered eight questions at the Coast Young Professionals' political  forum Wednesday night. On the topic of insurance, they were asked if they favored banning confusing language contained in so many policies.

"I'm going to make sure we pass legislation that protects the consumers of this state and make sure you know what is in your policy.  I am going to make sure the burden is on the insurance company," said Democrat Jamie Franks.

"Whatever I need to do as Lieutenant Governor to help solve that [policy confusion] and get the attention of insurance companies, we're going to do it.  But, you got to be careful, cause insurance companies will say, 'I'm leaving you,'" said Republican Phil Bryant.

Another question the candidates addressed is how they would make the Mississippi Coast a tier one tourism destination.

"We're just going to have to fund tourism, because if you look at the investments of what we're getting back, oh, what a great investment it is," said Bryant.

"We have passed incentives to make sure we are a tier one tourism destination, but those incentives seem to die in the tourism committee in the state Senate.  We have to make sure we have a chairman in the state Senate that's going to do the right thing," Franks said.

The candidates even touched on environmental issues like oil and gas drilling in the Mississippi Sound.

"I can assure you that I will not support any drilling unless it's 12 miles south of the barrier islands," Franks said.

"I just believe there might be some opportunities out there we might be able to grab. But if the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast say 'no,' I will hear you loud and clear," Bryant said.

Southern District Transportation Commissioner candidates Wayne Brown and Larry Benefield were also involved in the debate Wednesday night. They answered questions ranging from their vision for Highway 90 to addressing important transportation issues in the future.