Landrum hopes to succeed Pickering as 3rd Dist. Rep.

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 10, 2008

David Landrum, the latest contender to enter the race to filloutgoing U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering’s seat in the state’s ThirdCongressional District, is looking to set himself apart from thecompetition.

“I always tell people – I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a bureaucrat,I’m not a politician,” Landrum said during a stop in BrookhavenTuesday. “I’m running for this seat on a platform of common senseand business leadership, and I feel I can bring something differentto the table.”

Landrum plans to seek the title of representative based on acampaign of fiscal discipline, and he said he has the background,knowledge and experience to do it.

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“I feel that everything I’ve ever done has prepared me to be arepresentative,” Landrum said.

During his 28 years with Primerica Financial Services, based inAtlanta, Ga., Landrum helped his employers to open more than 100locations around the country. He has served as the chairman of thebusiness affairs committee of the Mississippi College Board ofDirectors, and currently serves on the foundation board of MadisonCounty where he lives, promoting residential and commercialdevelopment.

Landrum is also no stranger to the political scene, having beena member of Gov. Haley Barbour’s 2003 transition team and a recentmember of his finance committee. He also served on Lt. Gov. PhilBryant’s steering committee, helping the campaign determine itsdirection.

Landrum believes these positions make him the right man for theThird Congressional District.

“If I have 100 vice presidents that I’m responsible for, that’slike trying to herd cats,” he said. “In order to do itsuccessfully, you have to build a consensus, and that’s what I’vedone for 28 years. Economic development is not a political point tome, it’s what I do.”

Landrum said he plans to use his knowledge of business affairsto try to “renew” the Republican Party. He said he is for makinginvestments and establishing infrastructure, but he wants to makesure the country’s leaders spend money on the right things.

Of course, “the right things” are not all financial matters.Landrum offered his stance on several other issues currently facingMississippi and the rest of the country.

He is decidedly opposed to cutting the military’s budget andsetting a time line for the war in Iraq. He is not inexperienced inmatters of making war either, as he spent three years on activeduty as a military policeman with the Army – two years at FortBenning, Ga., and one year at Camp Wildflecken in Germany.

“We need to always support our military,” Landrum said. “Thebest deterrent to other countries that may try to harm the UnitedStates is to carry a big stick. We need to have the best trainedand most well-equipped military in the world to win the war onterror. “

Landrum has strong convictions about the country’s nationalsecurity, not just externally, but internally as well. He opposesamnesty for illegal immigrants.

“We are a land of immigrants,” Landrum said. “But there’s aright way and there’s a wrong way. Just because someone manages toillegally cross a 1,500-mile border doesn’t mean they’ve earned theright to stay. It’s a national security issue to me. We need to getcontrol over our borders, and fast.”

National issues aside, Landrum also plans to stay true to hisroots in south Mississippi.

Landrum believes faith is a large part of that promise. Hepractices his own faith through his chairmanship of MissionMississippi, a non-profit group that pursues “racial reconciliationthrough Christ.”

Landrum believes the true faith, and the strength of the ThirdCongressional District, is practiced at home.

“I’m out in the district all the time, and I’ll tell you – thepeople who make this district so great are not on the 6 o’clocknews,” he said. “They’re in their home towns, building theirbusinesses, raising their families and being active in theirchurches.”

With a conservative platform to stand on and slightly more than$500,000 raised for his campaign, Landrum is confident about hischances for success in striving for Pickering’s former seat in theHouse.

“With Pickering, we have some big shoes to fill, and I’m askingthe people of this district to step out with me,” Landrum said. “Ihope the people will give me a chance to prove myself, that’s all Iwould like. I have a track record and I know I can make adifference. With a good work ethic and some common sense, I know wecan make good things happen.”