Retiring Dick Hall and Cecil Brown call for guts, vision from future leaders in farewell speeches

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Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America“We cannot afford to fall any further behind in the race for economic development,” Dick Hall said during the Neshoba County Fair Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
NESHOBA COUNTY FAIR — With 68 years of government experience between them, Republican Dick Hall and Democrat Cecil Brown used their final speeches at the Neshoba County Fair to urge the next crop of Mississippi leaders to adopt stronger visions for the state.
Hall — with 44 years of political experience, serving in both the House and Senate and currently serving as one of the state’s three transportation commissioners — has for years publicly lobbied lawmakers for an increase in the state’s fuel tax, which hasn’t been adjusted since 1987.
“We cannot afford to fall any further behind in the race for economic development,” Hall said. “And our race cannot be run without a modern, multimodal system for transportation. It’s imperative that we choose someone who has the vision to see the road ahead and the political guts to lead the way.”
Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America“Letting our roads and bridges crumble is not conservative,” Cecil Brown said during the Neshoba County Fair Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
Brown — with 24 years of political experience serving four terms in the House, the state’s chief fiscal officer and currently as one of the state’s three public service commissioners — zoned in on health care and public education. Brown has been a vocal critic of Republican leadership for years, highlighting disparities in health care and public education.
“We can do better, but it will take different leadership at the state level,” Brown said. “We can’t elect the same ol’ people and expect change.”
The podium at the Neshoba County Fair garners broad attention as most every news outlet in the state closely covers the annual