Candidates seeking the Republican nomination for state auditor are trading blows as they stump for support at the Neshoba County Fair. Both candidates say Mississippians need to elect somebody they can trust.
"The Department of Corrections, the Department of Marine Resources, Singing River, it's obvious that they are not doing their job," Hawkins says. "If they would at least read the audits and do something about it but they are not. We have a big problem in this state
For more than 100 years, politicians have used the Neshoba County Fair as a way to connect with the voters of Mississippi on a personal level. But this year Republicans vying for the state auditor’s position are hoping to score political points by sowing distrust in their opponents.
Challenger Mary Hawkins-Butler, the long-time mayor of Madison, says corruption has run rampant across Mississippi since her opponent took office.
As evidence, Hawkins-Butler pointed to recent allegations that incumbent Stacey Pickering used campaign funds to purchase a car, recreational vehicle and garage door opener for personal gain.
Pickering has maintained that he purchased the items in a legal manner. He says Mississippians need to focus on what really matters this election, his record.
"You heard a lot of ranting and raving, you heard a lot of fussing and fighting but the reality is this campaign, this race and Tuesday's primary is all about who's qualified to serve as the State Auditor for the state of Mississippi and today that's what we should be talking about in our record," Pickering says.
Party primaries will be held next Tuesday, August 4th. Polls open at 7 am and close at 7 pm.