Addy Walker Phillips and Taylor Phillips swing high above  the midway. This year’s rides are once again drawing crowds of youngsters and the young-at-heart to the midway.
Addy Walker Phillips and Taylor Phillips swing high above the midway. This year’s rides are once again drawing crowds of youngsters and the young-at-heart to the midway.
As incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran uses the Neshoba County Fair to launch his general election campaign, Mississippi tea party supporters say they will show up in full force to "confront" him and others over widespread voter fraud they say cost challenger Chris McDaniel the GOP run-off.

Cochran won the GOP run-off by more than 7,000 votes, but McDaniel has yet to concede and says he may challenge the election, although the party certified Cochran.

Tea party supporters say they hope to thwart a "giant harmonious love-fest by all state Republican leaders and Thad" during political speaking on Founders Square Thursday.

The South Mississippi Tea Party issued a statement inviting members to the Neshoba County Fair to "confront" Gov. Phil Bryant and Sen. Cochran, among others.

"The entire state media, TV, papers, Supertalk radio, will be there, broadcasting live and recording. Posters need to say things like "Fire Phil", "Primary Phil 2015", "Cochran + Barbour = VOTER FRAUD", "Vote Buying is Illegal," the statement said. 

The group, which addressed its "fellow patriots," said the tea party must not be silent or complicit at a political event such as the Fair.

"If we don't show grassroots disgust with what and how they just stole an election for Cochran, then the story will be what a wonderful lovefest Thad, Haley, Phil, Delbert and Pickering had at the Neshoba County Fair as united strong Republican conservatives!" the statement said.

Tea party organizer Barry Neyrey said individuals are being urged to attend only to be "visible" and "respectful."

"Chris' talking will be done  by the evidence of corruption that he presents to the GOP and the court," he said.

"I expect there will be plenty of booing but since Tea Party folks are generally respectful people, I doubt there will be any heckling," Neyrey said.

"I'm hoping there will be as many McDaniel supporters as Cochran supporters to show there is a good chance Cochran will lose the general."

Gov. Bryant's office responded on Tuesday.

"People have a right to speak their minds and make their voices heard," Communications Director Nicole Webb said. "We hope anyone choosing to exercise his or her right to free speech does so in a manner that is respectful of all speakers and Fairgoers."

Fair Association President Gilbert Donald would not comment on the matter.

Sen. Cochran will make an appearance on Thursday unless the U.S. Senate is still in session, Jordan Russell, his campaign communications director, said on Monday.

Cochran, fresh off a heated primary campaign, is scheduled to speak at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 31 under the pavilion on Founders Square.

"Unless Senate business keeps him away or something else changes, he will be there," said Russell. "We are looking forward to the Fair."

Cochran's challenger, U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, the Democratic nominee for U. S. Senate, will speak before Cochran at 10:20 a.m. Childers is a former First District Congressman.

In another heavily contested local race, Choctaw Tribal Attorney General Don Kilgore will try to unseat longtime incumbent Judge Marcus Gordon in the race for Eighth District Circuit Court Judge, Place 1.

Kilgore, who is in his 10th year as Tribal Attorney General, qualified in May to run against Gordon.

Kilgore is scheduled to speak at 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday.

Gordon, who has held his position for the past 35 years, will address the crowd at 9:50 a.m. on Wednesday.

He is a former county and district attorney.

U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper will not be speaking this year at the Fair due to an overlap in the Congressional calendar, said Press Secretary Jordan See.

Independent candidate Roger Gerrad and Democratic nominee Doug Magee, who are both challenging Harper, will begin the list of speeches on Thursday.

Political speaking, as usual, will be on Wednesday and Thursday mornings beginning at 9 a.m.


Dr. Rudy Posey, a member of the Fair Association's Board of Directors, said he is "really excited" about this year's line-up.

"It's going to be a good political year," he said. "It's not a lot going on, but it's enough to keep people interested."

District Attorney Mark Duncan will open the political speaking today on Founders Square at 9 a.m.

Political speaking will resume at 9 a.m. on Thursday with Roger Gerrad, an Independent candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Third District, taking the podium at the pavilion first.

Closing the long list of politicians will be Gov. Phil Bryant, who will address Fairgoers Thursday at 10:40 a.m.

Afterwards, the Governor will give special recognition to The Yates Companies, which is celebrating its  50th year.



9 a.m.-Honorable Mark Duncan, District Attorney, 8th Circuit Court District

9:10 a.m.-Honorable Vernon Cotten, Candidate for Circuit Court Judge, Place 2

9:20 a.m.-Honorable C. Scott Bounds (R), State Rep., MS House of Rep., District 44

9:30 a.m.-Honorable Giles Ward (R), State Senator, MS State Senate, District 18

9:40 a.m.-Don Kilgore, Candidate for Circuit Court Judge, Place 1

9:50 a.m.-Honorable Marcus Gordon, Candidate for Circuit Court Judge, Place 1

10:00 a.m.-Honorable Dick Hall (R), Transportation Commissioner, Central District

10:10 a.m.-Honorable Lynn Posey (R), Public Service Comm., Central District

10:20 a.m.-Honorable Mike Chaney (R), Insurance Commissioner, State of MS

10:30 a.m.-Honorable Stacey Pickering (R), State Auditor

10:40 a.m.-Honorable Jim Hood (D), Attorney General

10:50 a.m.-Honorable Tate Reeves (R), Lieutenant Governor



9 a.m.-Roger Gerrard, (I) Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd Congressional District

9:10 a.m.-Doug Magee, (D) Candidate for U. S House of Representatives, 3rd Congressional District

9:20 a.m.-Honorable Joey Kilgore, Candidate for Chancery Court Judge, Place 1

9:30 a.m.-Honorable Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), Commissioner of Ag and Commerce

9:40 a.m.-Honorable Lynn Fitch (R), State Treasurer

9:50 a.m.-Honorable William Winter, former Governor

10:00 a.m.-Honorable Delbert Hosemann, (R), Secretary of State

10:10 a.m.-Honorable Philip Gunn, (R), Speaker, MS House of Representatives

10:20 a.m.-Travis Childers, (D) Candidate for U. S. Senate

10:30 a.m.-Honorable Thad Cochran (R), Candidate for U.S. Senate

10:40 a.m.-Honorable Phil Bryant (R), Governor