Pickering courts veteran vote
CAMPAIGN TRAIL U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, right, visits with Earl Gray, left, Jeffie Jackson and C.O. Jackson, all of Philadelphia. The congressman was in Philadelphia on Monday meeting with veterans and working the downtown area for votes. PHOTO BY WILLIAM F. WEST / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By William F. West / community editor
Oct. 15, 2002
PHILADELPHIA U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering courted the veteran vote here on Monday while also making sure his supporters go to the polls Nov. 5.
Pickering met in the morning with about 50 veterans at the American Legion post in downtown Philadelphia many of whom said they staunchly support the Republican.
C.O. Jackson, 85, said Mississippi doesn't need a Democrat in Congress because he'll give everything away. His brother, Jeffie, 81, said he, too, supports Pickering.
Pickering, 39, of Laurel, meets U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows, 55, a Democrat from Bassfield, in the Nov. 5 general election for the newly re-drawn 3rd Congressional District.
Pickering, the 3rd District congressman, and Shows, the 4th District congressman, were placed in the same district earlier this year after Mississippi lost one of its five U.S. House seats.
Shows campaign spokesman Troy Colbert said his candidate was campaigning at a plant in Bassfield on Monday. Shows is scheduled to go to another manufacturing plant in Brookhaven today.
Colbert said the two campaign stops are part of Shows' effort to reach out to workers who could lose their jobs to foreign countries as a result of free trade agreements.
Pickering focused on East Mississippi on Monday. He said he believes he will receive the support of veterans because he played a significant role in the Tricare for Life bill.
Pickering also cited his work with the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Veterans Hospital. He said he helped bring a veterans health care clinic to Meridian and was also one of the original sponsors of the Montgomery GI Bill to increase educational benefits.
Neshoba County visit
On Monday morning, Pickering and campaign consultant Chip Reynolds also went to the Neshoba County courthouse to visit with officials and clerks and to seek potential supporters.
They also made the rounds on the town square stopping at a brokerage house, a men's clothing store, a barber shop and an eatery.
Later Monday, Pickering met in Meridian with Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie, Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell, Police Chief Benny DuBose and Assistant Chief Keith McCary.
Sollie called for more equal federal law enforcement funding between the city and county, while Pickering encouraged DuBose to take advantage of other grants available through the federal COPS program.
COPS stands for Community Oriented Policing Services.
The law enforcement leaders told Pickering that the biggest crime problem now is methamphetamine laboratories.