July 23, 2014  

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Mississippi Elected Officials Address Delegates to Girls State

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Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood addresses delegates to Girls State at The University of Southern Mississippi. (Photo by Kelly Dunn)

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood encouraged Girls State delegates to take an unselfish approach to life during his speech at the annual convention held this week on The University of Southern Mississippi campus in Hattiesburg.

“Your generation is more about ‘we’ than ‘me.’ You will be more focused on protecting the children and young people of America,” said Hood.

Since being elected attorney general, Hood has spoken at Girls State every year. This year he spoke to the delegates about the importance of being safe and careful on the internet and with modern technology. Hood warned of the dangers of technology and problems like cyber-bullying and the sale of counterfeit products. He also reminded the delegates to be mindful of what they post on social media sites.

The delegates also heard from Commissioner of Agriculture Cindy Hyde-Smith, who spoke to them about her commitment to public service. Hyde-Smith, a Southern Miss alumna from Brookhaven and the first woman to serve as the state’s agriculture commissioner, said hard work and sacrifice were the keys to achieving any goal.

“That’s the way it is with anything worth pursuing,” she said. She also praised the delegates for taking part in Girls State and learning about how our representative democracy works. “I applaud your for being involved and finding out about the process,” she said.

The delegates of the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State also elected officials for the fictional state of “Magnolia.” Those officials include the following:

  • Governor, Catielee Bruni of Gulfport
  • Lieutenant Governor, Alexandria Jones of Jackson
  • Secretary of State, Christina Legradi of Hattiesburg
  • Attorney General, Leah Bowlin of Mendenhall
  • State Treasurer, Lizzie Nichols of Flowood
  • State Auditor, Allison Floyd of Magee
  • Commissioner of Insurance, Beth Baugh of Cleveland
  • Commissioner of Agriculture, Etta Kathryn Jennings of Grenada

“Girls State is a tremendous experience that encourages women to be involved in government,” said Bruni. “I think it’s amazing to be elected as governor in a state that I’m proud to be from and represent Girls State.”