Vann Branch

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 15, 2011

Senate candidate speaks at Exchange

By John Howell Sr.

Republican candidate for senator Vann Branch said that he is urging people “just to vote” in Mississippi’s 2011 elections.

“I’m trying to ask people now just do their part, what they can do locally, to go vote,” Branch said Wednesday at a meeting of the Batesville Exchange Club.

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“If you don’t vote for me, just go vote; do your part,” the 62-year-old political newcomer said. “Complacency has got us where we are,” he added.

Not that Branch does not want to be elected. With his wife, Eileen — “the best looking grandmama anywhere,” he said — Branch was looking forward to retirement when he made the decision to enter the District 10 Senate race, “… and hopefully be successful.”

Branch has no Republican opposition for the seat. He will face the August 2 Democratic primary winner Michael Cathey or Steve Hale in the November 8 General Election.

“Every issue needs to be studied; … it all comes down to common sense, responsibility and hard work,” Branch said.

“My platform, primarily, is to work for jobs; that’s the main thing we’ve got to have,” he said. “But not just any job; we need to have jobs for educated individuals; we’ve got to provide an education,” Branch continued.

Branch said that he is “resistant to any taxes without proper cuts. We’ve got a lot of waste. We need to do away with the waste. Medicare and Medicaid fraud: we’ve got to do away with that. When you stop that fraud we could use that money to give more money to the people who need it,” he said.

The candidate also said that he favors the three initiatives that voters will find alongside candidate selection on the November General Election ballot: the voter ID requirement, eminent domain restriction and declaration that human life begins at conception.

Branch said that he was raised by a single mother and earned his first income at age eight mowing neighbors’ lawns. He grew up in Memphis and lived in Sardis, before he and his wife moved to their present home on Snyder Road in southeast Panola County.

He has been in the business of selling and installing epoxy flooring since 1979, founding several companies with multi-state operations. The Branches are parents of three grown children.