The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Do not second-guess a vote for Michael Guest

Fed Election 2020

The Mississippi 3rd Congressional District race provided new opportunities for the people living in this region of Mississippi. Dorothy “Dot” Benford, a community activist from Jackson, is the Democratic challenger for Republican Michael Guest’s congressional seat. Guest has represented Mississippi’s 3rd District for two years since the retirement of Gregg Harper in 2019. Mississippi’s 3rd District has maintained the reputation of being a solidly red district, as a Democrat has not been in office since 1997 with Sonny Montgomery as the representative. With a conservative leaning predicated in traditionalism as well as a transparent political record, Michael Guest should be sent back to Washington to represent the people of Mississippi’s 3rd District. 

Michael Guest possesses obvious political experience which will indicate to voters how he views political issues. Guest’s campaign website gives us an insight into what he was able to accomplish in his two years in office. In Washington, Guest served on the “House Committee of Homeland Security, including serving on the Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations.” He won the respect of his fellow congressmen and shares President Trump’s views on immigration and border security. 

A cooperative member of Congress, he was awarded an appointment to the House Committee on Ethics, which focused on guaranteeing the integrity of the actions of the House of Representatives. He was appointed to the committee by the House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, demonstrating he has won respect from the Republican Party leadership as well as the House of Representatives as a whole.

Legislatively, Congressman Guest has authored several bills and was the first Republican freshman member of Congress in history to write a piece of legislation which was passed by the entire U.S. House of Representatives.

Prior to when Guest was elected in 2018, Guest served in the position of District Attorney of Madison and Rankin counties for 11 years. In addition to holding a  membership with the Mississippi Bar Association and the Rankin County Bar Association, Guest also helps decide who gets to become a lawyer within the community he represents. 

Benford, however, is woefully under-qualified to represent Mississippi’s 3rd District. Firstly, Benford has never held elected office, even after several campaign attempts. 

According to the Associated Press, Benford has run unsuccessfully for Congress in 1988, 1990, 1992, 2006 and 2008. In addition, Benford organized failed campaigns for the Hinds County tax assessor in 2003, Jackson’s mayoral campaign in 2009, the transportation commissioner campaign in 2011 and a campaign for the Jackson City Council in 2017. 

Clearly, the voter finds Benford’s political platform distasteful time, time and time again, and she has not won a single election outside of her one position as Democratic committeewoman in over 30 years of political campaigns. Her political record is essentially non-existent, and her campaign website provides spurious qualifications, as opposed to the verifiable political experience which her opponent possesses. She lists herself as a “long-time community activist in the Capital City of Jackson,” and she is also “a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement.” 

Outside of these two vague ideas of what Benford stands for, the only leadership qualification she lists is the fact she “served as a Democratic Committeewoman covering Wards 1 thru 7 in Jackson since 2017.” This singular reference is hardly evidence of a good representative, and being in this singular position of leadership gives the inclination Benford is going to be loyal to the Democratic Party as opposed to the people of the 3rd District.

In addition to being more politically qualified than Benford, Representative Guest’s political stances are far more in line with the people of the 3rd District than Benford. On his campaign website, Congressman Guest says he wants to stimulate the economy of Mississippi by supporting free market economic policies. Guest wants to lower taxes for everyone, enforce fewer regulations for businesses to stimulate growth within the state and promote Constitutional freedom and liberties for individuals and business. 

Benford’s economic platform is nearly silent on her campaign website, other than her mentioning she wants to expand Social Security. 

Michael Guest is a defender of the 2nd Amendment, and he is also pro-life. Guest supports strong border security to stop illegal immigration and drugs. Guest is also a strong supporter of national defense and law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Benford is “ready to implement common-sense proposals to reduce gun violence,” and she is “ready to defend Roe v. Wade” and “ready to support the end of systemic racism.” Clearly, Benford is demonstrating she is not willing to discuss practical implementation of her policies and is instead opting for vague pie-in-the-sky ideas about policy. But pie-in-the-sky goals do not make a good representative. 

Michael Guest provides concrete measurable goals which would work to help people in Mississippi. This is untrue for Benford, who has goals which are not easily implemented in legislation. 

Come Nov. 3rd, I urge Mississippi voters to align themselves on the side of practicality. Michael Guest has delivered on his promises to Mississippi and given voters concrete legislation worthy of his position in office. Guest has certainly proved himself deserving of another two years, so when faced with the alternative, Guest is the obvious choice come election day. 

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Do not second-guess a vote for Michael Guest