Mississippi's best and the brightest young men selected eight peers to act as the top government officials at Mississippi American Legion Boys State.
More than 380 rising high school seniors from across the state are gathering this week [May 25-31] at Mississippi State to learn about state and local government and the electoral process. The university was selected in 2013 as the host campus through 2015 for Mississippi's American Legion Boys State, the nation's premier program for teaching how government works, developing leadership skills and nurturing an appreciation for the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Among Boys State participants, candidates are chosen and elected during the week. Once in office, they create legislative bills, develop economic projects and perform other government functions.
Former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, vice president of campus services at MSU, swore in the "Big 8" elected officials on Wednesday [May 28] at Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall.
The 2014 officers include:
Governor--Jacob A. Roberts, the son of Paul and Melissa Roberts of Hattiesburg.
Lieutenant Governor--Frank "Evan" Woods, the son of Frank and Cherish Woods of Brandon.
Secretary of State--Matthew T. Myles, the son of Eddie and Andrea Myles of Starkville.
Attorney General--Charles "Allen" Barbour Jr., the son of Charles and Rosemary Barbour of Jackson.
State Auditor--Charles C. Provine, the son of Charles W. Provine of Brandon.
State Treasurer--Gregory E. Wilson, the son of Jackie and Gregory Wilson Sr. and Fannie Harris of Jackson.
Commissioner of Insurance--Adam McMahon, the son of Wayne and Lee Ann McMahon of Gautier.
Commissioner of Agriculture--Jonathan C. Gage, the son of Jon and Rhonda Gage of Picayune.
In addition to the "Big 8" officials, Boys State delegates also elect mayors of individual, fictitious Boys State cities made up of approximately 35 young men. Two party chairmen also are named.
Those elected include (by hometown):
BAY ST. LOUIS--Brennan A. Shands, mayor of Hood, the son of Angel Shands and Morgan Shands.
CLEVELAND--Austin M. Killion, mayor of Nunnelee, the son of Jeff Killion.
FLORENCE--Brandtly M. Smith, mayor of Thompson, the son of Charles and Diane Slocum; and Joshua M. Smith, mayor of Wicker, also the son of Charles and Diane Slocum.
HATTIESBURG--Andrew Burks, mayor of Cochran, the son of Scott and Carrie Burks.
MADISON--Zachary Walley, chairman of the Nationalist Party, the son of Donna Walley.
MERIDIAN--Gage Leifried, mayor of Palazzo. (Parent information not available.)
PASCAGOULA--Nestor K. Delgado, mayor of Hosemann, the son of Nestor and Myrtle Delgado.
SAUCIER--Matthew J. Edwards, chairman of the Federalist Party, the son of Michael Edwards and Nidia Edwards.
STARKVILLE--David Cuevas, mayor of Hyde-Smith, the son of Keith and Lori Cuevas.
TUPELO--Devin J. Hadley, mayor of Bryant, the son of Fred and Manessa Hadley.
VICKSBURG--Luke B. Eckstein, mayor of Harper, the son of Jeffrey and Adrienne Eckstein.
For more information about Boys State, visit www.msboysstate.com.
Follow Boys State on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mississippi-American-Legion-Boys-State/125360164145801 and Twitter @MS_Boysstate.
Learn more about MSU at www.msstate.edu.