Looking back on former Governor Bill Allain's legacy - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Former Governor Bill Allain's legacy

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Co-workers are reflecting on the legacy of former Governor Bill Allain. He took the road less traveled when he pushed for appointments of more women and minorities to government jobs.

"I think a lot of the things he did have a lot to do with the present makeup of the legislature," said Representative Alyce Clarke-D.

Clarke fondly remembers Allain. He was governor when she was sworn in to the House of Representatives in 1985.

"I guess the thing I remember most about him is how easy it was to get into his office. How you could go there and talk to him," said Clarke. "You could take a group in to see him and it was just like you were going home to somebody you wanted to show off to your parents. And it was always easy to get him."

Other colleagues saw a different side of Allain. Ed Pittman succeeded him as Attorney General. He believes the controversy of the scandalous accusations during the Allain's campaign, shaped the way he handled the office of governor.

"Especially in the first 6 months of his term, I felt like he was a lonely person," observed Pittman. "But he got over that and he became an integral part of governmental management."

Still, Pittman and Allain didn't always see eye to eye.

"He had good ideas. He could be hard-headed," explained Pittman. We didn't always agree but he had a good term."

They disagreed on everything from the highway program to whether or not some Mississippi Universities like MUW and Mississippi Valley should be closed.

"I thought, you might not have ever started either one of them but they were there and multi-million dollar investments," said PIttman. "And I thought we ought to keep them open. The governor thought it would be a great savings to close them."

Above all else, Pittman says Bill Allain was a good governor and a good man.

Allain's memorial service will be held Friday at the State Capitol. The funeral will be Saturday in Natchez.

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