Hosemann, Hughes square off in lieutenant governor debate

Both candidates for Mississippi lieutenant governor say they will push to increase teacher pay and to make the operation of the state Senate more transparent.

Posted: Sep 12, 2019 11:28 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2019 9:35 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Both candidates for Mississippi lieutenant governor say they will push to increase teacher pay and to make the operation of the state Senate more transparent.

Democratic state Rep. Jay Hughes of Oxford and Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann of Jackson, who are both attorneys, debated Thursday night at the WJTV-TV studio in Jackson.

Jay Hughes (l) and Delbert Hosemann in a statewide lt. governor debate from WJTV-TV in Jackson

The winner of the Nov. 5 election will succeed Republican Tate Reeves, who has been lieutenant governor two terms and is now running for governor.

Hosemann said he has fulfilled promises during his three terms as secretary of state, and he believes that prepares him to be lieutenant governor.

Hughes said his life experiences will influence how he handles public policy. He said he was born into a poor family and worked in a variety of jobs, including as a truck driver and an oyster shucker, before he worked his way into hiring other people.

"While others were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, I was born with a plastic spoon in mine," Hughes said, repeating a line he uses often while campaigning.

In response, Hosemann deadpanned: "I think if he was born with a plastic spoon in his mouth, that was probably difficult for his mother."

Hosemann said he came from a house on a gravel road south of Vicksburg, and he and his wife "started with nothing" and worked hard.

Both candidates said Mississippi needs to improve the condition of highways and bridges. Hosemann said he would support giving counties the option to have a local increase on the tax on gasoline and diesel.

"Mississippi's run in the counties. It's not run in the Capitol," Hosemann said.

Hughes said the state should give counties the sales tax money that's collected from purchases people make online.

Let the supervisors there deal with the bridges and infrastructure," Hughes said.

Hosemann and Hughes were asked whether Mississippi should remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag. Both said if the flag design is reconsidered, it should be done by a statewide vote and not by the Legislature. People who voted in a 2001 election chose to keep the Confederate emblem.

"Mississippians will ask when they want to change their state flag," Hosemann said. "I don't think, really, the Legislature needs to be doing that."
Hughes said he thinks the flag hurts Mississippi's ability to attract jobs, but he said legislators should focus on issues like trying to alleviate poverty, improve schools and reduce the infant mortality rate.

As for the flag design, Hughes said: "It's not up to me, personally, to make that change. That's going to have to be by the people, or it will not be accepted by the people."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7894177
DeSoto693279
Harrison512983
Jackson450384
Rankin389486
Madison381293
Lee351479
Forrest300778
Jones289184
Washington256499
Lafayette248343
Lauderdale2437134
Lamar224238
Oktibbeha200854
Bolivar200477
Neshoba1842111
Lowndes178362
Panola169139
Leflore165887
Sunflower160949
Warren154355
Monroe148172
Pontotoc146119
Marshall141229
Lincoln138957
Pike138256
Copiah136936
Coahoma124936
Scott124929
Yazoo121733
Grenada121638
Simpson121249
Union117425
Tate116039
Leake114640
Holmes114460
Pearl River112959
Itawamba112225
Adams107343
Prentiss104819
Wayne100821
Alcorn98712
George97918
Covington97026
Marion94642
Tippah88922
Newton85627
Chickasaw84026
Tallahatchie84025
Winston83321
Hancock81628
Tishomingo80041
Attala79026
Clarke74351
Clay68421
Jasper67917
Walthall63827
Calhoun62212
Noxubee59617
Smith59116
Montgomery54323
Claiborne53716
Tunica52917
Yalobusha52614
Lawrence51214
Perry48723
Carroll48012
Greene47318
Stone46414
Humphreys42816
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40511
Webster37013
Wilkinson33720
Benton3335
Kemper32215
Sharkey28314
Jefferson27510
Franklin2403
Choctaw2056
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22988375
Mobile16788315
Tuscaloosa10235140
Montgomery9978197
Madison922894
Shelby727463
Baldwin661569
Lee651765
Marshall437249
Calhoun422461
Etowah421450
Morgan407135
Houston371734
DeKalb336029
Elmore317353
St. Clair289142
Limestone279730
Walker275593
Talladega263635
Cullman239925
Lauderdale218042
Jackson212515
Franklin203231
Autauga203030
Colbert198731
Russell19283
Blount191125
Dallas186327
Chilton185832
Coffee173211
Escambia172230
Covington171429
Dale166551
Chambers134343
Clarke133617
Pike132713
Tallapoosa131387
Marion107129
Barbour10129
Butler100240
Marengo100222
Winston91913
Geneva8617
Lawrence83732
Pickens83618
Bibb82514
Randolph82016
Hale75830
Clay73612
Washington73412
Cherokee73114
Lowndes70428
Monroe64510
Henry6436
Bullock63917
Crenshaw60330
Perry5856
Fayette56913
Wilcox56412
Conecuh56013
Cleburne5518
Macon53020
Lamar4745
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
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