Thursday, January 11, 2007
Renick enters governor’s race
Bill Renick, the executive director of Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, threw his hat into the ring Tuesday by filing his papers in Jackson to seek Mississippi’s top job. He is running as a Democratic candidate for governor.
No stranger to politics or government, Renick has held numerous elected positions both at the local and state level and was chief of staff for a Mississippi governor and lieutenant governor.
As executive director since 2005 for IDA, he has played a pivotal roll in attracting big industry to Marshall County, although he doesn’t take all the credit for it. He has said the groundwork for Marshall County’s breaking lots of new ground was laid by his predecessors.
Since 2005, Renick, with the backing of the Marshall County Board of Supervisors, the IDA Board, and numerous state development entities, has successfully steered the expansion of Chickasaw Trails Industrial Park in northwestern Marshall County. In 2005 the park saw its first big industry partner, Exel, go up and open its doors. Last year another large industry, Cargill, was lured from Memphis and is constructing its animal nutrition manufacturing plant in Byhalia.
Other smaller manufacturers also relocated to the Chickasaw area including Mid-South Ag Equipment, Inc., the second to break ground at the park. And also, last year, Holly Springs Commons broke ground with a 23-acre development that will expand to a 200-acre development and include a new medical clinic and hospital.
More recently, Renick was successful in convincing Lund Precision Group and Lund Coating Technologies, an international company, to relocate its Hudson, Mass., and Collierville, Tenn., manufacturing facilities and headquarters to Holly Springs. Lund is moving in to an existing facility that had been vacant at the Holly Springs Industrial Park and expects to be operational by February.
Born in Ashland, Renick served two terms as alderman there before he was elected mayor, and then was elected to the Benton County Board of Supervisors.
He served one term as supervisor before being elected a Mississippi state senator for District 2 serving Marshall, Benton and Tippah counties.
In 1991, Renick was asked to serve as Lt. Gov. Eddie Briggs chief of staff. Three years later he was hired as administrator at Holly Springs Memorial Hospital, where he worked five and a half years.
Then he was asked to serve as president for the Mississippi Retail Association, a position he held for two years, before serving as chief of staff under Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.
Renick said his experience in and around government and in the private sector qualify him for the state’s top elected position.
“Through all that experience, I have trained pretty well all my life for this job,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about this seriously for about a year and have a lot of encouragement from others to run.”
Renick said he is ready.
“I know it will be a great challenge, but it’s one I am willing to try,” he said.
Renick, 53, is the father of two children by his wife of 32 years, Debbie.
Their son Will, 28, lives at Snow Lake, and daughter Suzy Bowman, 25, lives in Ocean Springs.
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