Mississippi candidates gives stump speeches amid sawdust and sweat at the Neshoba County Fair

Mississippi candidates are speaking at the Neshoba County Fair, an annual gathering that draws large crowds to the red clay hills in the eastern part of the state.

Hundreds of colorful cabins fill the fairgrounds and some extended groups of friends and families stay for several days in the hottest part of the year for an event that’s been made considerably easier by air-conditioning in recent decades.

Politicians speak under a tin-roofed pavilion as spectators sit on long wooden benches, shuffling their feet in sawdust and fanning themselves in the summer heat.

Party Primaries are Aug. 8, with runoffs Aug. 29 and the General Election Nov. 7. Here’s what some candidates for Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner said Wednesday:

Attorney General

Republican incumbent Lynn Fitch said her office is working to help human trafficking victims “without any shame or blame.” The work includes her office having recently held a training session to help law enforcement identify such cases. She also touted her office’s 2021 lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies over insulin prices, an effort to protect people who have diabetes. Fitch said she will propose a Parents’ Bill of Rights to ensure people have a voice in their children’s schools and a Women’s Bill of Rights to ensure single-sex bathrooms and locker rooms. She did not mention the word “transgender,” but she said the current federal administration is trying to redefine women. Fitch also said Mississippi needs to improve adoptions, foster care, child care and the child-support collection system.

Democratic challenger Greta Kemp Martin is the litigation director for Disability Rights Mississippi. She said she would create a labor division in the attorney general’s office to stand up for workers’ rights. She also said she would prosecute people who abuse elderly and vulnerable residents. Kemp Martin pledged stronger oversight of state agencies, saying Fitch has failed to bring criminal charges against anyone involved in misspending tens of millions of welfare dollars. Federal and county prosecutors have brought charges, but the state has not. Kemp Martin also said Fitch settled insurance claims over Hurricane Katrina damage for “pennies on the dollar,” has not enforced leases for public tidelands and has not enforced campaign finance laws.

Agriculture Commissioner

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