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Lt. Gov. Candidate Jay Hughes Sees the Value of Education in a Changing Mississippi

By Lainey Stevens
Hottytoddy.com intern

Running his life and his campaigns on the value of hard work, unwavering determination and wholesome education for all, District 12 Representative Jay Hughes said he is determined to bring hope and revival to the people of Mississippi. Growing up in a poor neighborhood in Texas, Hughes was taught to work hard for what he desires and to never forget those who came before him who helped pave the way.

Jay Hughes with daughter, Patricia, and wife, Cris. Photo via Jay for Mississippi Facebook page.

“I learned to work with my hands. I learned to try not to break things because you couldn’t afford to replace them. I learned to rely on my family and to take good care of them,” Hughes said. “Work ethic is what I learned, and it’s interesting to see that I am 55 years old with calluses still on my hands.”

Graduating from the Ole Miss Law School in the mid-80s, Hughes fell in love with Mississippi, the town of Oxford and a lady named Cris from Natchez. After years of practicing real estate law and raising a daughter with his wife in Oxford, Hughes felt the call to be more of a public servant, so in 2013 he decided to run for Ward 1 Alderman of Oxford and won. Completely passionate about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the public schools in Oxford, Hughes has made it a mission to devote his life to helping others.

Winning a seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives in 2015, Hughes has been extremely vocal about his advocacy for public education creating a mantra expressing just that – “It all starts with education.”

“It is harder to stay engaged as a full-time candidate and as a legislator, but I still donate my legislative salary to the local school district and volunteer as a substitute teacher, allowing me to stay in tune with what’s really going on,” Hughes said.

Jay Hughes’ campaign bus, the Imagine Wagon. Photo via Jay for Mississippi Facebook page.

Always thinking of ways to do more for those who do not have access to “the finer things in life,” Hughes has set out on the campaign trail once again in pursuit of becoming Mississippi’s next lieutenant governor.

Garrison English, Hughes’ campaign manager, first got to know Hughes when he started out as an employee for Hughes’ law firm. English has been working for Hughes for three years now and helps Hughes in all his endeavors. Whether it is at his farm, in his law office or running his campaign, English has gotten to learn more about life, politics and what it’s like stepping out of his comfort zone.

“It is really enjoyable keeping up with someone like Jay who has very high energy and is forever thinking. I get to learn and see a lot,” English said. “It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but I’m very happy that I’ve done it.”

Hughes and his team still have more to do for public education and helping to improve the welfare of fellow Mississippians, they said, but they do not plan on stopping any time soon. Even when adversity comes his way, he retains his passion for impacting the lives of those in the Oxford community and in the state of Mississippi.

Hughes said he knows that it’s time to return to what unites and not divides, and he won’t stop until change comes.

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