Gary Anderson Defeats 8-Term Incumbent Dale - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 08/08/07

Gary Anderson Defeats 8-Term Incumbent Dale

By Jon Kalahar

In eight previous elections, George Dale received less than 70 percent of the vote only once -- until Tuesday night. Gary Anderson outdistanced Dale for the Democratic nomination for the office of insurance commissioner.

Phone call after phone call came into Anderson's campaign headquarters on the morning after. He and his staff were flooded with congratulations and requests for interviews. The primary victory was sweet, no doubt, but the ultimate prize is still months of campaigning away.

"We know this was just a warm up drill, and it's now time to roll up our sleeves again and go out and continue to engage the voters of Mississippi," said Anderson.

At the Woolfolk Building in downtown Jackson, incumbent Dale went to work as normal. Dale is quick to point out that he's not out of office yet, and there's still much he wants to accomplish.

"I was elected for a full four-year term," he said. "To finish it out, I intend to do that, and what we do when that time is over, who knows?"

Dale says he won the areas he thought he would, but not by the margin he had hoped for.

Anderson swept the gulf coast. It's no surprise Dale didn't do very well on the coast -- by his own admission, he didn't advertise down there -- but what is surprising is that Anderson won 70 percent of the vote in Hinds County.

"We came out of Hinds County 11,000 votes behind," Dale says. "It was just difficult to overcome that."

Anderson says it's now time to get his message of change to the citizens of Mississippi.

"It's very important that we get people to understand our focus is on the people of the state and how we go about protecting folks here in Mississippi," said Anderson.

Anderson says he plans to focus more on what he can offer the state as insurance commissioner rather than pointing out his opponent's faults, much the way he did against Dale.

Anderson will face Republican nominee Mike Chaney, a state senator from Vicksburg, in November's general election.

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