/Senate candidate Tobey Bartee, overshadowed by big names and big money, introduces himself to Mississippi

Senate candidate Tobey Bartee, overshadowed by big names and big money, introduces himself to Mississippi

Bartee is a former military intelligence officer and is running for public office. His candidacy has been mostly overlooked. Thursday’s event was no different. He spoke before most state business leaders had finished their coffees and settled in their seats. His name was misspelled in the program. Many media outlets covered the event and misidentified him as a Gautier city councilman five days before Election Day. His father, also named Tobey, is the Gautier councilman. Bartee is a Democrat, a policy whiz with experience at the Department of Defense and the State Department. He’s excited to get his first opportunity to meet Mississippians and share his ideas. “It’s all about what I see in the state and in the country that I got into this campaign. It’s almost like an appeal to service,” Bartee said to Mississippi Today. It’s not about me believing that I can make a difference. It’s about building a partnership with voters – making sure they are taking responsibility for getting involved to ensure that their voices are heard, and that elected officials are held responsible. It’s also about taking responsibility for developing good policies and having a discussion about the development of those policies.” Bartee was a guest at a Millsaps College town hall in Jackson on Thursday. He answered more than an hour’s worth of students’ questions about policy. Bartee, who holds a master’s degree in public policies from Vanderbilt University was able to answer tough questions about poverty in Mississippi, gun control safeguards that don’t violate Second Amendment rights, smart foreign policy and how to use federal funds to help Mississippians. When discussing foreign policy, he referenced Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”, during the Millsaps town hall. Thomas P. O’Neill, former Democratic Speaker of House (D-Mass.) are his political heroes. Bartee said that he was a great researcher and developer of policy. Trent Lott, former Republican Senate majority leader (R-Miss. Bartee said that he was an expert at implementing policy. Bartee stated, “I believe that command of policy is as important as command of process.” “I will unpack every issue in its entirety, especially on the policy side. Your Mississippi team will also be part of the team we create. They will focus on addressing those issues and what it means for Mississippi. You must be able take good ideas and turn them into policy. Your D.C. team will master this process.” Bartee lists key policy areas on the stump and on social media. He cites low test scores and the need to develop workforce skills. Infrastructure, citing Mississippi’s funding gaps and crumbling roads and bridges. Health care, citing the need to expand Medicaid, protect pre-existing conditions, and foreign policy. This race will determine who replaces Senator Thad Cochran who retired in April from failing health. The top two vote-getters in November’s special U.S. Senate race will move on to the Nov. 27 runoff.