The residents of Forrest and Lamar counties will send an additional representative to the State House of Representatives in 2016.
After the 2010 census, redistricting was proposed. The redrawing of district lines was finalized in May 2012. District 87 encompasses the area between Highway 49 and Highway 589. It begins in the Carnes area in south Forrest County and extends northward to the 4th Street extension in Hattiesburg.
Now the only question is who will represent District 87. Mike Davis and Chris Johnson will face off in the Republican Primary on August 4. Both candidates have strong ties to the community that they hope to represent.
"I've lived here for 34 years," said Mike Davis. "I've raised two kids here. It's a great place to live."
"I grew up in Forrest County," said Chris Johnson. "My wife and I both went to USM and after graduating and marrying, we chose to stay in this area to raise a family."
The candidates are both businessmen who, if elected, plan to focus on economic development and job creation.
"We have a great economic foundation," said Johnson. "But I believe at a state level we can reduce some regulations that will attract businesses from out of state. Also, we need to make it easier for entrepreneurs to grow businesses and create more jobs here."
"The more business you've got, the better the economy is," said Davis. "We operate on a balanced budget. I think it's important that you don't spend more than you have to spend."
Through this additional district, District 87, the Pine Belt will have more representation in state legislature.