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Sun Herald - Hopefuls for State's Top Job Visit Biloxi

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Location: Unknown

By Michael Newsom

Dennis wants to "sell' state

Dennis, of Pass Christian, owns Specialty Contractors & Associates. He compared himself with former Gov. Kirk Fordice, who also came from the private sector and had little political experience. Private-sector experience is key for a governor, Dennis said. "You're not hiring a somebody to wave, or cut ribbons and do other things," Dennis said.

"You're hiring a person to be the CEO, and an ambassador and the face of Mississippi, as well as the chief salesman for the state. How do you recruit business and bring things in? You do it by selling, just like we do."

Hewes offers seasoning

Hewes, a five-term state senator from Gulfport, said his seasoning on the Senate floor, as well as being a business owner, makes him uniquely qualified to be lieutenant governor, he said. "I didn't run for the Senate so I could be lieutenant governor one day," Hewes said. "But I recognized my ability to get legislation passed and work in front of the scenes, as well as behind the scenes …. I've lived and led through about every calamity that they can throw at me."

Reeves keys tax reductions

Reeves, who was first elected treasurer in 2003, said Mississippi needs to make itself more attractive to businesses, which would in turn create jobs here.

The key is lowering taxes and decreasing regulation, he said. "We need a true fiscal conservative in the office of lieutenant governor, someone who has a record of standing up to those who want to borrow more, spend more and tax more," Reeves said.

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