South Mississippians Familiar Faces in Crowd As Gubernatorial Candidates Make Pitch at Neshoba County Fair


As Mississippians throughout the state watch the clock tick down with less than 24 hours to go before casting ballots in Tuesday’s primary election, some South Mississippians got an up-close-and-personal look at the gubernatorial candidates as they made an “eleventh hour” push at the Neshoba County Fair late last week.

Throughout last week in Philadelphia, there was a sea of red, white and blue. It was fitting that Ingalls workers from South Mississippi set up shop on the outer edges of Founder’s Square as they set the stage for a political battle at the Neshoba County Fair Thursday.

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No, we’re not talking about that east coast Philadelphia, but this one, nestled in the woods of east central Mississippi, a thousand miles away, but here, the right speech can go a long way – close the gap with a political opponent, especially with the primary election just around the corner.

Pass Christian resident Melanie Gangon was making a pitch of her own just outside Founder’s Square, but still soaking up the candidates’ speeches and hoping whoever lands the state’s top political spots will tackle the Bonnet Carre Spillway issues here on the Coast.

What’s important to her? “Of course the spillway, tourism on the Gulf Coast,” Gagnon said. “We kind of have our own entity on the Coast with the fun, food and fishing, but I do think the spillway is the biggest thing everybody has talked to me the most about. We have a lot of friends who work on the water. Fortunately, Chandeleur, Louisiana Marsh, we’ve been going strong. We always come together and help each other out. If we find out where the other fish are, we let the others know. We’re making it, but it has been tough.”

For decades, political careers have been made and broken on this Founder’s Square Stage at the Neshoba County Fair, but one thing’s for sure, some of the week’s candidates’ speeches will likely affect Tuesday’s vote.