Billy Hewes and Tate Reeves, together in Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - Mississippi's two Republican candidates for Lieutenant Governor were in the Pine Belt Tuesday speaking before the seventy second annual American Legion Boys State conference at Southern Miss.

State Senator Billy Hewes of Gulfport and Mississippi's Treasurer, Tate Reeves, participated in a forum together at USM's Bennett Auditorium. They discussed the importance of Boys State and the necessary leadership skills and attitude the young men need to be successful as they enter college and later the professional world.

Hewes said the young men should always continue to be involved with their community in a positive way, while Reeves said Boys State participants should always be proactive when it comes to opportunities that come their way.

Following their individual remarks, the candidates for Lieutenant Governor also took some audience questions and spoke about their qualifications for the role of Mississippi's second in command.

Hewes explained, "I've spent the last twenty years learning the role, learning the job, leading for Mississippi and representing people's interests. But also it's not just about government and political experience, it's about life experience. I've been running a business for 26 years. I've been married for over 25 years, raising four kids, putting two through college. We are finding that people want someone representing them that face the same things they face everyday."

Both men said they have addressed Boys State many times before and consider it an important activity for young men.

"I believe we need a true fiscal conservative in the legislative branch of government. If you look at my record standing up for the taxpayers over the last seven and a half years. Doing what I think is right. Being willing to stand up to those in Jackson, who want to spend more, borrow more and tax more," said Reeves.

The Republican primary is set for August second.

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