Barbour Defeats Musgrove

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

Haley Barbour waited until the final result of Tuesday's voting was absolutely certain before entering the ballroom where a crowd of his supporters had gathered. It was almost midnight.

"Thank ya'll," Barbour said amid cheers. "I'm sorry it's the middle of the night, but it was worth staying up for. What a great day. What a great day!"

"We can get our state back on track by creating better and higher paying jobs at a much faster rate," Barbour told the crowd. "That will require effective tort reform to put an end to lawsuit abuse. It will require a major improvement to our workforce development and job training programs and means no tax increase in Mississippi."

At Gov. Musgrove's headquarters, he was asked about his future.

"I'm a small town, country lawyer. I enjoy practicing law, so we'll see what the opportunities are," said Musgrove.

It was pointed out to him that many of his supporters were in tears over his defeat.

"Maybe part of the reason that they have come to tears is that my life is an example of the American dream," Musgrove said. "My life is one where I've been given opportunity, when my background said I didn't deserve opportunity."

Musgrove said he has work yet to do, in completing a smooth transition for the governor's office.

As for Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, who won a second term in office, she said she appreciates the support of voters.

"Thank you is very insufficient for the appreciation, but I certainly mean it from the bottom of my heart. The people across east central Mississippi, east Mississippi, all over our state, have just placed a great deal of trust in me and I appreciate that trust," Tuck said.

State Sen. Barbara Blackmon, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, watched the returns at home, coming to her campaign headquarters only briefly.

Already behind Tuck over 100,000 votes, Blackmon was asked if she were willing to concede the election. Her answer, no because, she said, "By tomorrow morning I will be lieutenant governor of Mississippi."


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