Jeannie Johnson Staten declared her intentions to take House District Seat 36 on Tuesday, becoming the fourth person to announce candidacy for the vacant seat to the Daily Times Leader.
With an election such as this, there are many candidates who come from many different backgrounds, whether it be law, industry, education or something else.
Staten herself has 27 years of experience in the classroom.
A retired teacher, the Clay County native says she has always had a profound interest in politics and the legislature.
“For years, I have wanted to do this,” Staten said on Tuesday afternoon. “I was always too busy teaching and raising a family. Now that I am retired, I finally have the time to do it.”
Even though Staten’s background is in education, which includes five years of lobbying the state legislature on behalf of MAE (Mississippi Association of Educators), she emphasized on Tuesday a need to bring jobs to the district.
“The main thing is that we need to get some industry,” Staten said. “We need someone in the legislature who has the backbone to do it.”
Like many who promote job growth, education is first and foremost on the mind of the former teacher, who says that she never let a year go by in nearly 30 years of teaching where she did not take her school kids to the state capitol building in Jackson.
“I know the legislature,” Staten said. “We need someone who will help make the laws. They are the ones who write the bills. They are the groundbreakers.”
Staten says that even though Clay County has a high unemployment rate, there are things that are attractive to industries here, including the Prairie Belt Powersite.
“That is the ultimate pull for industry,” she said. “Industry needs ample power supply, and that site would provide that.”
Staten was raised in Montpelier and is a graduate of Clay High. She attended East Mississippi Jr. College, and she obtained her degree from the Mississippi University for Women.
She has worked as a social worker for a decade with Family and Children’s Services, and she has helped in the research for the Clean Air Bill of the United States.
She is a graduate of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Academy in Social Work, and she has served as Deputy Chancery Clerk of Clay County.
“I want to speak for the people of District 36,” Staten said. “With all of the different avenues of experience I have, I feel I can serve not just one group of voters, but all.”
Staten looks to fill a seat left vacant at the passing of David Gibbs earlier this month. The election will take place on March 12, 2013.