LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Many candidates for state office stopped in Lamar County Tuesday for the Forrest-Lamar Republican Women's meeting.
Among the attendees were State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, candidate for Attorney Gen. Mike Hurst, candidate for Southern District Public Service Commissioner Tony Smith as well as Stacey Pickering and Mary Hawkins Butler, who are both running for state auditor.
Pickering said he is proud of his track record, especially the money returned to Mississippians in the last eight years.
"We've recovered over $23 million dollars," Pickering said. "150 individuals have pled guilty or been found guilty. We've received the top two national awards any state can receive for accountability and transparency, and Rutgers University just named us a couple of years ago as one of the absolute top ten states in the nation at enforcing our public corruption laws."
Hawkins Butler said that is not enough.
"We need to dig deep," she said. "We need to get the job done, and I don't care how many awards anybody receives or how many people he parades across the stage and says 'look what I did.' Bottom line, $24 million returned to the citizens of Mississippi after eight years when over $40 billion's been spent? Uh-uh. We're not digging."
Butler said if she is elected, she wants individual state agencies to be audited, instead of just a blanket audit on the state budget.