Republican gubernatorial hopeful Phil Bryant brought a familiar face from University of Mississippi athletics with him during a visit to DeSoto County Tuesday as he and other candidates in next Tuesday's primary elections pull out all the stops in the closing days of campaigning.
Deuce McAllister, who played at Ole Miss before an eight-year NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, stumped with Bryant during a stop at the Northwest Association of Realtors in Nesbit. The Realtors group endorsed Bryant, the current lieutenant governor, who faces four challengers in the Aug. 2 GOP primary fight to succeed Gov. Haley Barbour.
"I just made a point to be here in DeSoto as the election draws closer," said McAllister of his appearance, "as things will get tighter and people will get maybe a little more nervous."
Challenging Bryant for the nomination are James Broadwater, Dave Dennis, Hudson Holliday and Ron Williams. The winner will face one of four Democratic contenders in the November general election.
Running in the Democratic primary are Johnny L. DuPree, Bill Luckett, Guy Dale Shaw and William Bond Compton Jr.
"It's a tight election for a lot of people and people are concerned," acknowledged Amy Lovorn, president of the Northwest Mississippi Association of Realtors, "but I think we carry a lot of weight."
Bryant also campaigned earlier in the day in Olive Branch before making the hastily arranged appearance with McAllister, which was just announced earlier in the day Tuesday.
Originally from Morton, McAllister, 32, holds the all-time Saints rushing record with 6,096 career yards. He still serves as an ambassador for the team.
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