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franklin county times

Shows, Pickering vow support for NAS Meridian

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 9, 2002
U.S. Reps. Chip Pickering and Ronnie Shows agreed on at least one thing Saturday: Naval Air Station Meridian is perfect to train people for homeland security.
Pickering said he believes NAS Meridian could get about $1.5 million from the U.S. Justice Department to expand the base's counter-drug training to include counter-terrorism training.
Shows agreed: "The more responsibility we can see the Naval Air Station getting here in Meridian, hopefully the more likely it will stay."
Tough race
Pickering and Shows, locked in a heated race for the state's 3rd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House, were in town Saturday to speak at the Disabled American Veterans state convention.
Pickering, a Republican who represents the 3rd District, and Shows, a Democrat who represents the 4th District, found themselves pitted against each other after the state lost one of its five U.S. House districts.
Parts of Pickering's and Shows' current districts were combined to form the new 3rd District and both representatives believe they can win the U.S. House seat in the November general election.
Besides Pickering and Shows, independent 3rd District candidate Jim Giles also attended. But because Giles wasn't invited, organizers of the convention asked him to leave.
Convention speakers
The convention's speakers included Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck; state Sen. Videt Carmichael, R-Meridian; and state Sen. Delma Furniss, D-Rena Lara.
But it was Pickering and Shows who got the most attention, both from those attending the convention and reporters covering it.
Last week, Shows questioned Pickering's support for NAS Meridian. This week, Shows leveled no charges and told veterans he and Pickering are working to keeping NAS Meridian in place.
He said he also supports such veterans issues as mandatory health care.
Pickering used his speech to touch on NAS Meridian's possible role in homeland security. Afterward, he went into more detail including discussing the possible $1.5 million appropriation.