HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - An official with the Mississippi Democratic party is touring the state telling voters what Democrats believe and what they are working for this election season.
Issues at the heart of his message include increasing the minimum wage, equal pay for women and men, and accepting federal money to aid hospitals.
"That's the only way we're going to be able to save our hospitals is to make sure that we accept that federal money so that our hospital emergency rooms can stay open and so that we can deliver quality care from our hospitals," said Ricky Cole, executive director of the Mississippi Democratic Party. "The crisis that's coming in health care in Mississippi can and will be avoided if the Mississippi legislature and governor will simply accept these federal dollars that we're losing now at the rate of three million dollars a day."
Cole also said that education should be fully funded in Mississippi.
"We believe that the best crime prevention program and the best job creation program is a good, quality public education," said Cole.
"We believe that the floor, below which no teacher pay should fall, needs to be raised," said Cole. "Teachers are professional people. We entrust them with our most precious resource, our future, and if we don't properly invest in them and show them that we appreciate their effort and their work at a minimum, then we're shortchanging ourselves and the future generations."
Cole added, "We have a good, commonsense, small town Mississippian running for the United States Senate for Mississippi. He's the kind of commonsense leader we need in Washington. He'll not take part in this divisive rhetoric, the hateful name calling, the trying to shut everything down. He's the guy that makes things happen."
Cole said he believes the U.S. Senate race in Mississippi will be one of the top races in the country, one followed by all of the national pundits.
"There are two parties on the Republican side now, the establishment Republican Party and the Tea Party Republican Party," he said.
"I've never seen a grass roots movement quite like the Tea Party in Mississippi before," said Cole who went on to say that despite this, the establishment party still has the money and power.
"But at the end of the day, it's going to be a race about who can best serve Mississippi and who will go to Washington and represent us with a level head and commonsense in the tradition that we're accustomed to."