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‘We want a voice’ in Washington — Sally Doty announces run for U.S. Congressional seat on home turf Friday

When Sen. Terry Burton, the pro temp of the Mississippi Senate, saw Sally Doty make her way onto the senate floor for the first time, he figured this day would come.

“I knew she belonged,” he said.

Burton served as Doty’s master of ceremonies for a rally held Friday at the Lincoln County Military Memorial Museum. Doty officially announced her run for the 3rd District Congressional seat in her first rally held in Brookhaven since filing her paperwork Monday in Jackson.

Burton said Doty fit right in to the political arena, got to know her fellow senators and made herself available to her constituents.

“She did something a lot of newly-elected senators don’t do. She listened,” he said.

Doty’s rally included entertainment from singer Natalie McKenzie of Loyd Star and the national anthem sung by “American Idol” finalist Skylar Laine James of Wesson. Doty’s pastor, the Rev. Lynn Mote of First United Methodist Church, offered the opening prayer.

Several speakers gave glowing recommendations to the crowd about Doty.

Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, said what a lot of Lincoln Countians have been thinking.

“It’s time to send someone from Southwest Mississippi to Washington who won’t go there and forget about us,” she said.

Currie said “it’s about time” to get a woman from Mississippi in Congress. She said she doesn’t want “someone to just breeze through and then forget us.”

Doty joins four other hopefuls for Congressman Gregg Harper’s seat: Morgan Dunn of Magee, Michael Guest of Brandon, Whit Hughes of Madison and Perry Parker of Seminary.

“I’ve looked at the opponents so far and Sally will do a better job for us,” Currie said.

Longtime educator Jennifer Whittier introduced Doty to the crowd. Whittier said she is a veteran’s daughter, a wife, mother, Christian, lifelong resident of the community and a voter.

“As all of the fore-mentioned, I have a deep-seated interest in the future of my country, a concern for the direction that we are headed and a desire to see a positive future for the generations that follow me,” she said. “You and I have much in common.  We want the best for our families, our communities and our country.  We want a voice.  We can have that voice in Sally Doty.”

Whittier echoed Currie’s words.

“We have the opportunity to send our own Sally Doty to be our voice, to express our concerns, to help fulfill our dreams for this great country,” she said. “She’s approachable because she’s one of us.  She understands us because she’s one of us.  She shops with us; she worships with us; she works with us; her children were educated here. Sally Doty has represented us with dignity and integrity in our state Senate, and I believe  she will continue to do so in the House of Representatives.”

Doty was charming and charismatic as she welcomed the crowd of about 80 people to her rally. The daughter of a veteran, the late Sgt. 1st Class Charles Burchfield, Doty has been a strong proponent for veterans’ rights. She is one of the organizers of the annual Lincoln County Veterans Day celebration.

Several veterans were in attendance at the rally, including Howard Britt, a World War II veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

Doty said “there are a lot of games played in Washington” when it comes to issues concerning military, families, healthcare and finances.

She said Mississippi has only four representatives in Congress of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, which means her legislative experience in the state Senate is a big plus.

“We have to make each one of those seats count,” she said.

Doty has represented Lincoln, Lawrence, Copiah and Walthall counties in the Senate since her election in 2011.

Candidates’ filing deadline is March 1. Party primaries are June 5. The general election is Nov. 5.