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Republican Delbert Hosemann in race for lieutenant governor

RICHLAND (AP) — Mississippi’s third-term Republican secretary of state says he’s running for lieutenant governor.

Delbert Hosemann is announcing his candidacy at several events around the state this week, including one Wednesday at a tractor-trailer driving school in the Jackson suburb of Richland.

Hosemann said that as lieutenant governor, he wants to reduce the number of state commissions and boards and make state government more responsive to the public. He also said most people in Mississippi don’t earn four-year college degrees, and he wants to ensure more students finish school with skills they need to find jobs.

“I believe if we have an educated workforce, we’ll have people come here,” he said.

Hosemann, 71, is an attorney who grew up in Vicksburg and lives in Jackson.

The current lieutenant governor, Republican Tate Reeves of Flowood, cannot seek a third term. He’s running for governor.

First-term Democratic state Rep. Jay Hughes of Oxford announced several months ago that he’s running for lieutenant governor this year, and he filed qualifying papers last week. Hughes, 55, is also an attorney.

The lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate, appoints Senate committee leaders and has great influence over which bills become law.

Responding to a question about whether he considered running for governor, Hosemann said he thinks he could do more to shape Mississippi’s future as lieutenant governor.

“I wanted to go where I could make the most difference,” Hosemann said. “And controlling the budget and all of the laws, which has historically been in the Senate and in the House, was where I could make the most difference.”

March 1 is candidates’ qualifying deadline in Mississippi. Party primaries are in August, and the general election is in November.