HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Candidates both local and statewide are keeping the campaign trail hot with just more than two months to go until the general election.
The Hancock County Democrats and Diamondhead Democrats drummed up support for their candidates Monday with its annual Labor Day barbecue and campaign rally. In addition to live music, food, and drinks, the event featured local and statewide guest candidates running for several different offices.
Each of the candidates attending took advantage of the picnic to talk about the some of their campaign points.
For state agricultural commissioner candidate Rickey Cole, that meant talking about agricultural jobs in Mississippi.
“Ninety percent of what we eat in Mississippi is produced out of state,” said Cole. “If we could keep one billion dollars of that here, by neighbors feeding neighbors with safe healthy affordable food, we could create 13,000 new jobs.”
Former Ocean Springs mayor Connie Moran also spoke at the event. Moran is running for public service commissioner against current Pascagoula mayor Dane Maxwell.
“The challenge, as always, is to negotiate a very affordable rate for our electric power and gas utilities,” said Moran.
House candidate for District 122 Wendy McDonald and secretary of state candidate Johnny DuPree also attended the event.
Statewide, other picnics were held to mark the Labor Day holiday. The tradition of using those picnics as political events continued in other parts of the Magnolia State Monday.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, which is the largest federation of unions in the country, hosted a Labor Day picnic in Jackson. Many Democratic candidates running for statewide positions attended, sharing their views on whether or not they think voters could flip some seats from red to blue this November. Many said they are focused on voters who are voting for the individual and not just toeing a party line.
“I think it’s going to be people just judging on who they like, who they think is best for office and that still matters," said Attorney General Jim Hood, who is running on the Democratic ticket for governor. "Here’s about a third die hard Republican, about a third die hard Democrat and a third in the middle. And that third in the middle is the group that’s always voted for me because I was working on issues that were sort of non-partisan and as governor I’d do the same thing.”
Meanwhile, Mississippi Republicans are hoping to hold on to the majority of the statewide elected seats. Recent numbers at the polls show for the first time in the state’s history that more Republicans than Democrats voted in a state primary election.
To hear more from the AFLCIO picnic in Jackson, watch the video below: