Young Candidates 3/29/13

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 29, 2013

Panola will have youngest rep in House

By Billy Davis

The youngest member of the Mississippi House of Representatives will hail from Panola County following the April 16 runoff for the District 11 seat.

Both candidates on the ballot, Anderson Boothe and Lataisha Jackson, are 29 years old.

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Currently the youngest member in the Mississippi House is Rep. Toby Barker of Hattiesburg, who is 31, The Panolian has learned.

Barker, who was born in 1981, represents District 102, which includes Forrest and Lamar counties.

Boothe and Jackson are vying for the House seat left vacant by Rep. Joe Gardner, who passed away from a heart attack at his home February 4. He was 68. 

Jackson, who turns 30 in August, said she considers her age “very much positive,” comparing it to a 60-year-old because of her experience. That experience includes traveling the country and overseas as the daughter of a military parent, and her experience as an “entrepreneur” in starting an after-school program.

“There are people 50 or 60 years old who haven’t experienced what I’m experienced in my lifetime,” she said.

Boothe, who turned 29 in January, said he plans to represent District 11 as the “voice of the community” in Jackson, making his age less important.

“I’m going down there without age being a factor,” he said. “I am young, and I have new bright ideas to benefit our legislature.”