Salter Comments on '03 Races

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Columnist Sid Salter told it like it is or like it is as he sees it as the speaker at the EMBDC Business Before Hours breakfast Tuesday. As usual, Salter pulled no punches.

"The way this session wrapped up was certainly a political solution, not a solution of fiscal responsibility," said Salter. "That sets up a critical situation in Nov., Dec., and Jan. to come because regardless of whom we choose to be our next governor that governor and the new Mississippi legislature will confront a financial disaster in the neighborhood of 650, could be as high as $700 million."

Then he discussed the race for governor between Ronnie Musgrove and Haley Barbour.

"So I think it will be a very tight race," Salter said. "I think because of the old James Carville observation of it's the economy, stupid, I think right now I'd have to give the nod, if I was forced to call the outcome of the race, I think that Barbour would have a slight edge."

He turned to the Lt. Governor's contest between Democrats Barbara Blackmon or Jim Roberts against Republican Amy Tuck.

"Barbara Blackmon will be an attractive candidate but I think that unfortunately Mississippi will vote that race based on race and so you will see, you'll see a November showdown between Roberts and Tuck and I think that will be a barn-burner," said Salter.

He gave the edge to Tuck. The powerful post of speaker of the house will go to Billy McCoy, Salter predicted. The governor gets a nice house, he said, but in the Mississippi legislature business is done with the speaker and Lt. Governor.