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Baker to challenge Moak in District 53 House race

A Lincoln County certified public accountant has announced hisintentions to run for state representative of District 53 in the2003 elections.

After much prayer and discussion with family and friends,Richard Baker III said he has been notifying clients and associatesof his intentions to challenge incumbent Rep. Bobby Moak in thedistrict that includes portions of Lincoln, Franklin, Lawrence,Pike and Amite counties.

“I feel like now is the right time, personally andprofessionally,” said Baker. “I feel like we need more businesspeople in the legislature.”

Baker, a partner with the firm of Baker-Patrick and Company,said he will run as a Republican. He expects to formally qualify inmid-January.

“It’s something I’ve always considered,” Baker said about apossible run for elected office.

He said serving in an elected office is a truly a way to servethe people and the district.

“I believe we will give the voters a definite choice on theballot come next year,” Baker said.

Baker, 36, is a 1984 graduate of Enterprise High School. Heattended Copiah-Lincoln, the University of Southern Mississippi andMillsaps before obtaining his Master’s of Business Administrationfrom Mississippi College. He and his wife Lesa have been marriedfor 11 years.

Baker became a partner with Haley-Patrick in 1993 and the firm’sname was changed in 1996. He said he was proud of his associationwith partner Stan Patrick and the firm’s staff.

“I’ve been blessed with a great partner and a great staff thatis ready to accept some of my responsibilities, and that will allowme to pursue this opportunity for public service,” Baker said.

Baker said he “did not want to sit on the sidelines” when he hasideas that he believes will improve the state.

Baker expressed concerns about current state leadership that hesaid should be more responsive to citizens’ needs. He alsomentioned the state’s slow response to issues such as improving thestate’s business climate and a pressing Medicaid crisis.

Baker said running for office will mean a lot of hard work, buthe is looking forward to the campaign.

“I have family and friends throughout the district and I’mexcited about meeting more people in the district,” Baker said.