Jerone Garland, a Kosciusko native, is running in a crowded race of Democrats, who want to replace Sen. Roger Wicker in the Senate.
Photo by Jerone Garland
Fast Facts About Jerone Garland
Election: Democratic Senate Primary
Family: Very large and extended
Place of Residence: Kosciusko MS
Education: Kosciusko HS, Jackson State Univ
Work Experience: Chemist, Training and Trade over 25 years. Photographer, Pastor, Teacher
Current Job: Minister, School bus driver, Substitute teacher, Photographer
The Jackson Free Press reached out to all candidates in the four Mississippi Congressional districts who are listed on a primary election ballot on June 5, regardless of whether they had a challenger or not. Each candidate received the same five-question questionnaire. We've published their responses in full below, with minimal edits for editorial/reader clarity only. The JFP did not copyedit or line-edit candidate responses. The views expressed by candidates do not necessarily reflect the views of the JFP.
Why does your district (for Senate candidates, your state) need you right now?
I have a vision for Mississippi’s future and a plan on how to accomplish it in areas of: Criminal Justice Reform, Broadband expansion as Public Utilities and job creation.
Provide one or two examples of when you have been an advocate for your district (or state) in your personal or professional life. What was the result?
I was the organizing board president of the Boys and Girls Club in Kosciusko in 2001 and continue to be a regular volunteer. We successfully led the effort to provide bus transportation for alternative school students. I am also the only black male bus driver/substitute teacher and only substitute in Kosciusko with professional work experience outside education. The result. Students who historically would have dropped out of school didn’t and KHS just graduated it’s largest and more accomplished classes in school history.
In the past year or so, what was the most important vote taken for your district (or state)? How would you have voted and why? What is the most pressing issue for your district (or state)?
To fully fund education. I support the effort which is why I propose we encourage broadband expansion via Public Utilities. Monies have been appropriated for expansion to rural areas. We must take advantage to expand out infrastructure. Doing so would provide our children the tools they need and life long learning for the general population.
If you could propose one piece of legislation that would greatly improve the quality of life for people your district (or state) what would it be?
Kids do stupid. Let's just lock up the bad people. We propose an alternative sentence for none violent and first time offenders. After arrest and processing, put a GPS bracelet on their ankle and release with curfew restrictions and court date.
If found guilty add an 8pm - 8am curfew and give them a job. Considered in the custody of Mississippi Department of Corrections if they violate the curfew restrictions or miss work they may finish the sentence in jail. Instead of Incarceration at $30,000 per year plus family assistance; locked in a cage with criminals then released on "paper"; ostracized, tattooed and unskilled.
Create "public work", infrastructure and community service jobs which pay about 20K. He will pay restitution and cost. He works every day and goes home to his family every night. When the sentence is up the bracelet comes off and he continues his life rehabilitated. Simple, cost effective and humane: makes sense. Why will republicans fight it so hard? Because it will be one of the largest redirections of wealth in US history. A lot of people are making money on jail. But it's the right thing to do.
If you are unsuccessful in winning your race, how specifically will you continue working on behalf of your district (or state)?
Continue to be an advocate for change and accountability in Mississippi. If I lose, but I won’t. If I have been able to introduce these ideas to the mainstream conversation then I have been successful in my efforts to make a better Mississippi.
Read more 2018 election stories at jfp.ms/2018elections. The JFP is still taking candidate questionnaires. Don't see your candidate? Tell them to email their questionnaire to [email protected].