Hundreds of South Mississippi community leaders made a trip to the capitol city for a chance to let their voices be heard at the annual Gulf Coast Legislative Reception. Hancock Bank Senior Vice President James Kaigler said, “It’s the 26th year that we’ve held this event. It’s a way to bring the culture and the traditions of the Gulf Coast up to Jackson for one night.”
The reception provides an opportunity for business and political leaders to discuss issues and ideas along the Coast, all while letting the good times roll. Representative Blaine Eaton said, “Senators, house members, statewide officials, I’ve seen the lieutenant governor here. I’ve seen the state treasurer here. They come and get some of our Coast hospitality.”
Hot button topics included BP money, tax credits, flood insurance and more. State Senator Sean Tindell said, “Education funding, everybody knows education is very important on the Coast. And trying to make sure that there’s adequate education for our schools so they can continue to thrive and do the great things they’ve done over the past years.”
In addition to those hot topics, 16 Gulf Coast restaurants served a variety of hot carnival cuisine throughout the night. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said, “It’s a great showcase. We have a tremendous turnout from all across the Gulf Coast. It really is a great celebration. I’m not sure if there’s anybody back home because we have so many folks from Harrison and Hancock and Jackson County up here.”
Attendees tell News 25 the reception is a refreshing way to network and discuss key issues for the future of the Coast.