Mississippi Gubernatorial candidates begin heavy campaigning - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi Gubernatorial candidates begin heavy campaigning

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A coffeehouse on Adams Street in downtown Jackson transformed into a political fair Saturday.  Candidates for a number of political seats were there to shake hands with more than 250 people in attendance.  Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree is one of four Democrats running for the office of Governor.

"I served in every branch of government and I know what it takes to run government," said Dupree. "I know what it takes to involve people in the process. That is what you really need."

In Flowood at Northwest Rankin High School, three Republican Gubernatorial candidates faced off in a debate sponsored by the Central Mississippi Tea Party.  Hundreds of people packed the auditorium to hear from Lt. Governor Phil Bryant, Gulfport businessman Dave Dennis, and Pearl River County Supervisor Hudson Holliday.  The candidates discussed a variety of state issues including how to combat illegal immigration.

"I'm comfortable with the fact that you have to verify and substantiate your employees in terms of their legalities.  We're in construction.  Our industry, more than any other industry, has been confronted with illegal aliens being involved, people that are working outside the tax system," said Dennis.

"When I was State Auditor I looked into this before anybody started talking about it.  Now everybody wants to get on the bandwagon when everyone realized it costs us $25 million a year for illegal immigration in the State of Mississippi.  That is why when I became Lt. Governor we passed the E-Verify legislation," said Bryant.

"They are still here.  You see them more everyday. The problem is growing.  Let me tell you, I support E-Verify 100%.  It has got to be simple and we got to increase the penalty on employers that hire them," said Holliday.

The primary elections will be held on August 2, 2011.

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