July 14, 2020 10:13:02 AM
Lowndes County native David M. Chism will run for the state House of Representatives seat recently vacated by his third cousin, Gary Chism.
David Chism, a Republican, announced his candidacy for the District 37 seat on Facebook over the weekend. If elected, David Chism will complete Gary Chism's term, which ends in 2023. Gary Chism retired June 30 due to health issues in his family.
David Chism said in the Facebook post announcing his candidacy that he plans to bring "sense and sensibility" to the people of Mississippi. While he is a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative, he said two of his main priorities moving forward are the expansion of broadband in rural communities and ensuring teachers have the necessary resources -- particularly technological resources -- to do their jobs in the midst of a pandemic. Teachers already do the jobs of "three or four other different professionals," he said, and starting in the fall they also will have to be technology experts and nurses.
"I would say that with the proliferation of this virus, I saw things fall apart in the way that they should not have fallen apart," he told The Dispatch this morning. "There were children who could not get online to do their schoolwork. The infrastructure and technology was just not adequate to be prepared for this kind of thing. I don't think anyone is to blame, necessarily, but we definitely need to do better."
Chism started Columbus-based Greenaway Pool Services in Tuscaloosa in 2008. The business has since moved to Columbus, where is does work all over the Golden Triangle.
This will be Chism's first time running for office. He said he's already received "tremendous support" since announcing his candidacy on Facebook.
House District 37 covers parts of Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Clay counties.
"What you essentially have is a collection of rural communities, and I don't think these communities are all that different," he said. "... We have similar interests. We're all in proximity to Mississippi State University. We're all in proximity to the Columbus Air Fore Base. We all use the same resources and we all want the same thing, and that is to get through this virus situation, not to have our freedoms taken away from us in the process and to move on with a positive dialogue."
Gov. Tate Reeves has yet to announce the date of the special election to fill the seat.
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