MSGOP MUNICIPAL CANDIDATE SPOTLIGHT
The Mississippi Republican Party has fielded candidates in more municipalities than ever before this election season, and we are proud to spotlight some of these rising stars leading up to Election Day.
Our first Republican municipal Candidate in the Spotlight this week is Jeffrey George, candidate for Ward 1 Alderman in Hattiesburg.
Mr. George holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minor in Marketing from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is currently working to obtain his Master’s of Science in Economic Development, while serving as a graduate research assistant in the Trent Lott National Center for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship, studying a variety of topics including: workforce development, community development, and economic development.
Throughout his studies as a graduate student Mr. George has focused his research on the Hattiesburg community by looking for innovative ways to promote the region to new business, train the area’s workforce, and improve the quality of life in the Hub City.
In his second term as SGA President, Mr. George served as the President of the Mississippi Student Body President’s Council representing more than 80,000 students from eight universities across the state to the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). He has also worked as a Legislative Intern in the Washington, D.C. Office of Senator Thad Cochran.
Mr. George’s community service includes working with The ARC of Hattiesburg and Edwards Street Ministries. He attends Venture Church and is an active member of the Area Development Partnership and the Highlands Neighborhood Association, where he currently serve as Vice President.
“I am running for city council because I believe in the future of our city,” said Mr. George. “Between the people, culture and economy of our city, we have all the assets necessary to provide the highest quality of life. However, we must be willing to leverage those assets to address the challenges we face and continue moving forward as a city. I can bring a clear vision and a fresh voice to the city council that best represents our community.”
Mr. George is a young Republican that is passionate about his community and who will serve with conservative principles in mind as the next Ward 1 Alderman in Hattiesburg.
“Since Hattiesburg is a young community with two universities, the city is in need of fresh leaders with new ideas that can improve the quality of life for those that choose to call this city home,” Mr. George added. “I am excited to be a part of the new generation of Republicans that are stepping up to lead within their communities.”
Our second Republican municipal Candidate in the Spotlight this week is Rob Blackman, candidate for Ward 5 Alderman in Ocean Springs.
Mr. Blackman attended the University of Southern Mississippi studying Construction Engineering Technology. He has spent 18 years working either for or with municipal government, beginning with the Pascagoula Police Department and transferring to the Pascagoula Building Department as a building inspector/code enforcement officer.
Mr. Blackman then went on to join Compton Engineering as a project manager and continued to work with the cities of Pascagoula and Ocean Springs on various post-Hurricane Katrina projects. In 2011, he hired on with Ocean Springs as the building official and floodplain manager.
Currently, Mr. Blackman works for Machado Patano Engineering as a project manager where he oversees projects for several municipalities on the Coast.
Among his goals as the next Ward 5 Alderman in Ocean Springs, Mr. Blackman plans to work with builders and developers to attract new development to the eastern side of the city to expand the tax base. He will also work to ensure that the aging infrastructure within the city is given the proper attention it needs.
“Decisions made these next four years can have long term effects on the future of Ward 5 and the city as a whole,” Mr. Blackman said. “I want to ensure that 20 years from now we can look at the progress that we have made and know that we did things right instead of looking back and saying, ‘I wish we had done this a different way.'”
Mr. Blackman has long identified as a Republican and he understands what leading with conservative principles means.
“I am running as a Republican because I was raised as a Republican and have always identified with the Republican Party,” Mr. Blackman noted. “I am very conservative and hope to bring a strong Republican leadership role to the Board of Aldermen.”