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Mangold preps for first term

On Jan. 5, Vince Mangold officially starts his new job as state representative. The Republican said he’s excited to get started, but not nervous.

“I don’t get nervous,” Mangold said. “Very few times in my life have I been nervous. I’ve got a lot to learn. As with any new job that you start — and this is not the first job that I’ve started — I never went into anything knowing everything. That’s the way I’m going to approach it. I’m going to learn as much as I can as fast as I can so I can better serve our district down here.”

Vince Mangold

Vince Mangold

In November, Mangold defeated incumbent and House Minority Leader Bobby Moak of Bogue Chitto with 56 percent of the vote. Moak has been in office for three decades.

“It was something that kind of happened,” Mangold said. “If you’d have told me this time last year that we would be having this conversation about me getting ready to start my first session in the Legislature I’d have told you you were nuts. It was nothing I ever thought about, dreamed about or considered. I was talking with some business people and some people around town, and they asked me to consider it. I said, ‘Me and my wife need to talk about this and pray about it.’ We did, and we came up with the idea, ‘Why not?’ We’re going to see what we can do with it.”

One big issue in the November election was Initiative 42. If passed, Initiative 42 would have amended the Constitution to mandate “the establishment, maintenance and support of an adequate and efficient system of free public schools.” The amendment would have given chancery courts the power to enforce this provision.

“Initiative 42, it didn’t pass,” Mangold said. “But a bunch of people voted for it. Was that the right thing for Mississippi, that initiative? I don’t know if it was the right thing, but I think it’s going to have — I mean I’ve been in some meetings already, and education is definitely going to be a topic. My comment was that, ‘Hey the people spoke.’ They want to see some changes and some things done different. So I think we’re going to have to listen to what the people say and see if we can’t make a concerted effort to try and better the education in Mississippi. Who wouldn’t want better education?”

When he isn’t in Jackson serving District 53, Mangold said he works on a farm just southeast of Brookhaven.

“We raise poultry and beef cattle,” Mangold said. “It goes well. We’re trying to feed the world. The houses that we’ve got we’ve just emptied them out over the last couple of nights, so there’s fresh chicken on the market. Don’t ever give up on hamburgers and steaks, either.”

District 53 covers Amite, Franklin, Lawrence, Lincoln and Pike counties.