Runoff too important to sit out
Gubernatorial runoffs are a rare occurrence in Mississippi’s history. In fact, the most recent was nearly three decades ago. Like so many of you, I have struggled to reach a decision on the right plan of action in this runoff election.
For months, I pitched my conservative outsider resume and platform of fresh ideas and a new perspective for our state government. While we were disappointed in the results, we saw that a majority of Mississippians are looking for more than the next-guy-in-line.
We have also seen, at this time in our history, a majority of Mississippians are not happy with the status quo and their vote proved that on election day.
After days of mindful consideration, prayer and soul searching, I have decided that on Aug. 27, I will cast my ballot for Bill Waller, and I hope you will join me in doing so.
I’ve come to my decision for a variety of reasons — my conscious being one. For me, this wasn’t about who is most conservative or public opinion, but whom I trust to lead our state with integrity, character, and selfless service — traits I have witnessed first-hand in Brigadier General Waller over the course of this election.
This integrity matters, and it provides a significant reason to cast your ballot for Waller.
Second, policy. Even though we don’t always get what we want in a candidate, I know, without a doubt, that Waller will do what’s in the best interest of all Mississippians — not special interests and lobbyists.
For anyone concerned with the issues — I hope you will look at his position thoroughly instead of political sound bites or deceiving commercials. Medicaid is not a program we need to expand. It is a program we need to reform.
Third, November. Jim Hood is wholly unacceptable — by any measure. If he wins in November, our state will — without a doubt — be subjected to left-wing policies for generations to come. Justice Waller has proven time and again that he can beat Hood in November, and he is the only candidate standing in his way of turning our state blue.
My conscience tells me to do what I can to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Fourth, solutions. For some time, our third candidate has spent a considerable amount of time discussing national issues, while ignoring the challenges we face in Mississippi — like teacher pay and shortage, a rising opioid crisis, and infrastructure. Waller, in contrast, has offered real, long-term solutions to our biggest problems facing Mississippi families, and I encourage you to do your research.
Instead of fighting over political ideologies, we have to come together to find common ground on the issues we face together. I am confident in the republican state legislature, who controls legislation, that, together, they will bring about conservative solutions in a way that doesn’t put taxpayers or our state budget at risk.
Finally, I have never needed approval to vote my conscience, and neither do you. I didn’t become one of the most conservative house members by selling out my convictions, and I am not going to start now.
Our shared values are too important to sit idly by on the sidelines and spectate. In December, I committed to do what’s in the best interest of all Mississippians, and I intend on keeping that commitment.
In the end, we each just have one vote, or we can stay home. But if you don’t want to see Hood win in November, I encourage you to join me in voting for Bill Waller.
Robert Foster is a state representative and a former candidate for governor.