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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Rupp makes secretary run official

    Jeffrey Rupp, former Columbus mayor and director of community and government relations at Mississippi State, announced Wednesday at the state Republican party headquarters in Jackson that he is running for secretary of state in Mississippi’s Aug. 7 primary elections.Rupp said he has been thinking about running for this position for several years, but it has not yet been the right time for him to run.
    “I had been asked about it several years ago,” he said. “When the current secretary of state, Eric Clark, announced he was leaving, I knew it was just the right time [for me to run].”
    Rupp said the idea for one of the main parts of his platform, a piece of legislation called “Voter I.D.,” was inspired by MSU students during SA elections Tuesday.
    “I was in Allen Hall yesterday and I noticed the students using their I.D. cards to vote,” Rupp said. “This system is just right for [the problem of] voter fraud.”
    If elected secretary of state, Rupp said one of his goals would be to get more people involved in voting and to let them know that their votes really do count.
    “I can’t imagine, regardless of what your party is, why you wouldn’t want every vote to count,” Rupp said.
    He said the main duty of secretary of state is taking care of the business of the state. Whoever holds this position must also manage the tidelands and negotiate the uses of casinos on the coast, Rupp said.
    “We have to make sure we’re good stewards of the land,” he said.
    Rupp served as mayor of Columbus from 2001 until last summer when he resigned from the position and became director of community and government relations at MSU. His campaign manager Josh Blades said during the five years he was mayor, Rupp achieved several major accomplishments for the city of Columbus.
    “He was a mayor at a time in Columbus’s history when the economy exploded,” Blades said. “More than 2,000 jobs were created and more than $1 billion of new investments came to the city during his tenure.”
    Blades said that in 2004, under Rupp’s tenure, Columbus was awarded Best Downtown in the state by the Mississippi Mainstreet Association.
    Along with serving as mayor of Columbus, Rupp also served as an anchor for 15 years and was honored as the Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Mississippi Wildlife Association.
    Blades said that for the next six months, Rupp will be taking a leave of absence without pay from his position at MSU.
    Rupp said he is the only Republican who has announced candidacy for the position of secretary of state so far, but there may be Democrat candidates running whom he has not been informed about.

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    Rupp makes secretary run official