One hour before the gubernatorial debate on Oct. 10 between candidates Jim Hood and Tate Reeves, independent candidate for governor David Singletary talked about his platform in Shoemaker Square.
Singletary’s supporter Niki Hardy, along with Singletary, was upset that Singletary was not allowed to take the stage with the other candidates for the debate.
“The reason he’s not in this debate is because of the money spent – they want you to spend at least $50,000, which is a lot of money,” Hardy said. “As an independent, unless you have serious backers, it’s almost impossible to put that kind of money into a campaign.”
Singletary said the bar for acceptance into the debate was too high and catered to the other candidates.
“Now the major parties – Democrats and Republicans, they’ve got the money behind them, so they can afford the TV advertising and exposure,” he said. “When I have to have over $50,000 in expenses in order to be on the debate stage, then the odds are weighed against me.”
Singletary’s conference didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Before the event started there were police officers removing signs.
When asked to comment on why they removed Singletary’s campaign signs, the officers declined to answer questions.
According to Hardy, this isn’t the first time Singletary has faced challenges in his campaign.
“[One of the biggest problems] has just been the news coverage,” Hardy said. “I won’t call it discrimination, but by far, one of the biggest challenges has been the news and just having him covered.”
Despite the lack of news coverage on Singletary, Hardy said that Singletary does have support from people in the state. Attendee Jessica Pratt agreed.
“I actually found him on the internet. I was looking for a change in the state of Mississippi because I’m tired of the Tate Reeves and Jim Hood regime,” Pratt said. “I was looking for an alternate candidate, and I found [Singletary]. I understand what he supports, and where he’s going, so I called him up.”
Singletary, who’s known for his stance on the legalization of marijuana, talked briefly on the subject at the press conference. He said legalizing cannabis is much bigger than others think and would greatly impact many areas of the state.
“Now granted, I am pushing the cannabis issue quite strong, but I’m talking about a $9 billion industry. It’s created over 41,000 related jobs in Colorado. It increased tourism over 51% in Colorado,” Singletary said. “That one issue affects every agency in the state in that it will produce more revenue to fund our agencies with, which will include education, better roads, bridges and infrastructure.”
Singletary emphasized that he is different from Hood and Reeves and wants to protect the average resident.
“I’m doing this for the meek and the weak. You’ve got the rich, strong and powerful in the Cochran Center fixing to debate your future. I’m here to protect the meek, and the weak, and their rights and access to services,” he said. “God has blessed me greatly, and this is my way of giving back to my state and fellow man.”