State Rep. Michael T. Evans of Preston plans to spend the rest of his time before the November 6 election riding the roads of the Third Congressional District and talking to the people.
State Rep. Michael T. Evans of Preston plans to spend the rest of his time before the November 6 election riding the roads of the Third Congressional District and talking to the people.
Until this week, Michael T. Evans has quietly run a grass roots campaign in his quest to become the next congressman from Mississippi’s Third District.

“Since announcing, I have tried to visit every county in the district at least three times or more,” said Evans, a longtime resident of Preston. “I have been meeting the people, getting to know them and hearing what their concerns are.”

A Democrat, Evans faces Republican Michael Guest, a district attorney from Brandon, in the General election November 6 for the seat that is being vacated when U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper’s term runs out. Harper announced he wanted to come home and would not seek re-election.

 Evans, a lifetime resident of East Mississippi, is a fireman, a farmer and owns three poultry homes that produce eggs for the PECO hatchery in Philadelphia. He is a state representative whose 45th District spreads through parts of Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba and Winston counties.

Evans plans to follow his grass roots strategy up until the election. But his campaign is going to be a bit louder. He announced Monday during stops in Philadelphia, Decatur and Lake he will be driving his tractor throughout the district which stretches across Central Mississippi from Starkville to Natchez.

“If you want to win, you have to be willing to do what it takes to win,” said Evans who is hoping his long tractor ride will draw attention to his campaign and his life as a working man. “I won’t be pulling the tractor from one area to another and then come driving in. I will be going up and down the road on the tractor, talking to the people who live in the district.”

Evans said he is aware of the historical run by former Gov. Cliff Finch who used a similar working man campaign in his successful run for the Governor’s Mansion back in 1975, the year Evans was born.

“I thought about this about a month or so ago,” Evans said. “I waited until now when it was closer to the election. I got positive feedback in my first stops.”

 

Who is Michael T. Evans?

Evans and his wife, the former Heather Luke, live on their farm in Preston. They have one daughter and attend the Dry Creek Baptist Church located near their home. He attended Kemper County High School and graduated from Nanih Waiya. Afterwards, he went to work for the Philadelphia Fire Department where he served for 21 years. He retired as a battalion chief. Evans still serves as a volunteer fireman and turns out when he can for fires in different parts of the county. He is an EMT and still goes out on ambulance calls to wrecks and other emergencies.

Evans was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2012 and re-elected for a second term. He said when he heard the 3rd Congressional seat was coming open, he decided to run.

“It is time someone gets a chance to be a voice for rural Mississippi,” Evans said. “This is one area of the state that seems to always get left out.”

If he wins, he says he won’t be one of those to elect Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House. So why is he running as a Democrat?

“Really, I am not a Democrat or a Republican,” Evans said. “I am from Kemper County. And when people from Kemper County run for office, they run as a Democrat. Always have.”

He promised to work on both sides of the aisle to do what was best for Mississippi and the country.

“Democrats or Republicans, no one can seem to get anything done in Washington,” Evans said. “I know I can’t do it by myself. But I can talk to people and work with them and hopefully be a part of moving the country forward.”

 

Evans focuses on People issues

Evans smiles when he talks about living on the farm and driving his tractor through the district. But he is very serious about his campaign.

Evans said his focus in Washington will be to support issues that affect the people. Upgrading and repairing the nation’s infrastructure is near the top of that list.

“We need to repair the roads and bridges around the country,” Evans said. “The states aren’t keeping up. We passed an infrastructure bill in the special session this year. When you really look at it and see how it is divided out, it’s not nearly enough.”

Addressing and fixing healthcare is another important issue that concerns the working people Evans wants to serve.

“When you are sick, you don’t need to wait months to see a doctor,” Evans said. “The small hospitals that serve the people in rural Mississippi are hurting. I certainly don’t want to see the Stennis hospital in DeKalb close like the one in Newton did. Before it opened, Kemper County went 21 years without having a hospital here. There are other communities in the same shape and I will support efforts to address those needs.”

Evans said he will be a friend and supporter of Mississippi’s military bases and the jobs they bring. Especially on his mind is keeping vital, the missions of the Meridian Naval Air Station and the 186th National Guard in Meridian.

“I believe in a strong military and will do everything I can to support all of the bases in Mississippi,” Evans said.

He added he was concerned about Veterans issues and taking care of those who have sacrificed so much.

“I appreciate what the Veterans have done for our country,” Evans said. “If it wasn’t for the Veterans, we wouldn’t have a country.

“I will always be on the side of the Veterans. This congressional seat has traditionally supported the Veterans through the strong leadership of (the late) G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, who was a Democrat. I will continue that with all vigor,” Evans said.

Other issues Evans promises to support include making broadband Internet service available to rural Mississippi, improving education by allowing teachers to teach and not focus all of their time on preparing students to take test after test; and, cutting wasteful government spending.

As far as President Trump is concerned, Evans likes that he wants to secure the borders and give people a tax cut. He just wishes that Trump who not be on Twitter so much,

In the days to come, Evans will be away from his home. He said his family supports him.

“Heather understands the campaign,” Evans said. “She will take care of the farm. We have to do what it takes to win.”