Hattiesburg has somewhat of an identity crisis when it comes to elections.
That’s because the Hub City has created a name for itself as an eclectic and moderate community of free-thinkers, educators, and artists who have a track record of bucking the political machine to elect (gasp) the best person for the job – regardless of political affiliation.
It’s why black Democrats helped elect Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker and it’s why white Republicans made it possible for Johnny DuPree to serve an unprecedented 16 years as mayor.
That independence is why, in a perfect world, voters would walk into the polls on Nov. 6 and elect State Rep. Jeramey Anderson to be our next U.S. Congressman.
But they won’t.
Anderson’s youthful optimism is exactly what we need in Washington to help combat the hate-filled, school-yard bullying of President Donald Trump.
The 26-year-old Anderson will end up with a respectable showing in Hattiesburg proper, but rural voters will support the incumbent and U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo will return to Washington to do the President’s dirty work.
For what it’s worth, people who know “Palazzo the Person” insist he is much more personable in real life than “Palazzo the Politician.”
They say he means well and they will argue that he has made great strides since first being elected. Unfortunately, he doesn’t show that side often enough as far as we’re concerned.
If nothing else, perhaps this election will serve as a wake-up call to Palazzo and his peers on both sides of the aisle.
Enough with the rhetoric. It’s time to govern.
– David Gustafson