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When Haley Barbour ran for Governor in 2003, he offered a new path for Mississippi. He identified problems and offered specific solutions for:


• Creating More and Better Jobs
• Improving Education
• A Healthy Mississippi
• Safer Communities
• Stronger Families


On November 4, 2003, the Yazoo City native was elected Mississippi’s 63rd Governor in the largest turnout in a gubernatorial election in state history.


Governor Barbour’s term has been highlighted by:


- The most comprehensive tort reform in the nation, restoring balance for plaintiffs and defendants in the state’s civil justice system;


- “Momentum Mississippi,” an update to the state’s economic development programs. During the first three years of the Barbour Administration, Mississippi has seen a net increase of more than 38,000 new jobs and personal income is up more than 15 percent. Recent major announcements include Toyota, which is building an automotive assembly plant; SeverCorr, which is building a steel mill; and PACCAR, which will build an engine manufacturing plant.


- Record funding increases for all three levels of education in Mississippi – K-12, community colleges, and universities. Across-the-board reforms in public education, including new focus on teacher and school performance, reducing state bureaucracy and strengthening discipline.


- Saving the Medicaid program for truly needy recipients, emphasizing preventative care and implementing the strongest anti-fraud plan in the history of Mississippi Medicaid.


- Putting more Troopers on the highways and increasing their pay; tougher measures to fight the scourge of illegal drugs; strengthening penalties against criminals who commit crimes with guns.


- Protecting the unborn. The Governor initiated and the Legislature passed six pro-life laws that make Mississippi “the safest place in America for an unborn child,” according to a national right-to-life organization.


In the face of the worst natural disaster in American history – Hurricane Katrina, which struck on August 29, 2005 – Governor Barbour took the lead early on helping Mississippians rebuild and recover. He and First Lady Marsha Barbour, his wife of 35 years, have worked tirelessly and innovatively with local, state and national leadership to tap into many resources of assistance for victims of Hurricane Katrina.


He created the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal to develop a broad vision for opportunities to help South Mississippi rebuild bigger and better than ever. The Commission now has been folded into the Office of the Governor, where its work continues.

For his leadership after Katrina, Governor Barbour was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award, which is presented by the bipartisan American Legislative Exchange Council to a nationally recognized public sector leader who has an extraordinary record of successfully advancing Jeffersonian principles.


He was also named Governor of the Year by Washington, D.C.-based Governing magazine and awarded the Gulf Guardian Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for his work to rebuild and protect sensitive Coast ecosystems.


*Updated May 2007