I’m running for governor, but my background is somewhat different. I’m not a career politician, waiting to be the “next guy in line”. Nor do I need a career – I already have one. I’m a Christian, an outsider, a farmer, a small businessman, a husband, and a father. I’ve learned what it takes to run a business, meet payroll in a recession, the value of signing the front of a paycheck, and the cost of over-taxation and over-regulation on a small business.

In 2015, I ran for state representative to make a difference in our state, not just for my family, but my employees’ families. But I learned a lot in politics, and that’s what has led me here. I learned that politics is not the solution; it’s often times the problem. I also learned that we cannot keep doing things the way we’ve always done them. We have to change that.

Governor Bryant has done a lot of good things for Mississippi. And while some families are doing well, we still have many really struggling to make ends meet. A large number of hard-working Mississippians can’t afford healthcare, job-creators and their employees are turning to other states with less regulation and no income tax, all on top of a rising opioid epidemic.

This past election, we saw a lot of finger-pointing and a lot of attack ads. I’m not going there. It’s not who I am. In fact, I don’t think that’s what Mississippians want to hear. For me, they want to hear about the real issues we are facing and how the next Chief Executive Officer of our state is going to fix them. It’s going to take new ideas and fresh leadership to get it done. That’s why I am the first to release a detailed policy platform called a “Blueprint for Mississippi” laying out the objectives I plan to address as governor.  You can read about that here.

In Mississippi, we have some very critical healthcare challenges that will hold us back if we don’t address them sooner than later. From a rising opioid crisis and rising medical costs, to restrictive C.O.N laws and bankrupt rural hospitals, we have to turn our attention to fixing our broken system so Mississippians and providers are more in control of their healthcare, not government bureaucrats. And it’s going to take real reform to get there.

Across our state, too few kids are ready for a career when they graduate and a large number of educators have lost confidence in our state government. Our students need to not only pass a test, but also be ready to get a job and compete in the job market. As an employer, I know firsthand how to create an environment where employees can thrive. This is the perspective I’ll take as governor when it comes to education. As a public school graduate and parent, I believe we need to do a better job supporting our educators with competitive salaries, opportunities for growth, and reducing the testing burden with less and more efficient tests, so our teachers can have the autonomy to do what they do best – teach.

Instead of throwing money at problems, growing government and fighting over political ideologies, we have to come together to find common ground on the issues we face together. We must develop healthcare that is more accessible and affordable, better schools, safer communities, and ensure that all of the hard-working people of Mississippi have good-paying jobs. As a tested businessman, I understand that in order to find real, long-lasting solutions to our biggest problems, we must build partnerships with experts in their various fields and listen to their advice in order to move Mississippi forward.

I’m running for governor because I believe all Mississippians share these common goals. Like so many of you, I love Mississippi. I believe, with my vision and your help, we can make our state an even better place to live, work, and call home.