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Hughes announces run for Lieutenant Governor

Jay Hughes, former alderman for the city of Oxford and current member of the state House of Representatives, announced his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor this morning in Jackson.

Hughes, a practicing attorney in Oxford and a veteran of the U.S. Army, said his campaign will hinge on a few key factors: education, equality and hard work. As Oxford’s only sitting democratic representative, Hughes will potentially be running against current Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) and Vicksburg mayor George Flaggs Jr., who left the democratic party in March and declared himself Independent.

It is unlikely, however, that Hughes will run against current Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, as many reports from the state capitol have suggested Reeves will make a run for governor in 2019.

In his announcement speech, Hughes told of his own struggles with education, as well as the examples his parents and grandparents set for him growing up.

“My grandparents entered the Great Depression with a mule and 10 acres of land. The mule died and the dustbowl killed their first and only crop,” Hughes said. “My grandfather then went to work digging sewer ditches by hand and worked for the city sewer department the rest of his life. He was most proud of holding the state record for hand-digging the most feet of sewer ditch in one day. He proudly and often told me, ‘If you don’t do anything else, son, work hard and do right.”

“Work hard and do right” is a phrase Hughes said he has carried throughout his life, working as a paperboy, an oyster shucker, a soldier and an attorney.

As the child of a truck driver and oil field worker who often made just enough to get by, and being married to his wife Cris for 25 years, Hughes said early on he learned the importance of compromising and respecting others to find the best solutions.

The first step in doing right and compromising, according to Hughes, is admitting there’s a problem.

“I’m so tired of hearing career politicians claim everything is great in Mississippi, for jobs, economy, food on the table, college graduates and roads and bridges,” he said. “They are not. We must acknowledge problems and find solutions.”

Hughes cited a few areas for improvement, including the state’s lack of industry and decreased population. He also confronted the issue of public education in Mississippi.

As a state that consistently ranks in the bottom percentile in education, Mississippi is in need of change, Hughes said. In order to do that, he is standing on the principle that “It all starts with education.”

“If we are all created equal, why aren’t our schools?” he said in a recent press release. “It’s why I want to imagine an education system in which all schools have the same great resources and buildings. Where every child has the teacher it needs. Where every child is graduating from high school, and is ready for a job or college.”

Hughes and his team left Jackson and traveled to Biloxi, Hattiesburg and Meridian. Tonight Huges will host a campaign launch party in Oxford.

Hughes’ campaign tour will travel to all 82 counties in the state and make 362 individual stops between now and election day on Nov. 5, 2019. To learn more, visit http://www.jayformississippi.com.

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