Marshall Countian in state office
• Fitch’s priorities: jobs, cut government spending
By SUE WATSON
Photo courtesy of Deryll Stegall
treasurer Lynn Fitch takes the oath before Chief Justice William Waller
Jr. (hand showing at left) Her daughter, Marye Will Mitchell (far
left), faces her mother and holds the Bible while her daughter
Mackenzie Burns and son-in-law Drew Burns look on.
Fitch, Mississippi’s new treasurer, was sworn in January 5 in Jackson
as one of the few women who have held a state office. Her family was by
her side as she took the oath.
Fitch, a native of
Marshall County, said she is ready to go to work for Mississippi. She
is the daughter of W.O. Fitch of Holly Springs.
She was head of the state personnel board before winning the treasurer’s spot.
said she obtained the full support of her children before deciding to
run for treasurer by sit-down vote at the kitchen table. Her children
were soon to be baptized in politics and in the unpleasant side of it,
as well, she said.
Her 13-year-old son, J.T.,
helped with television and radio commercials, giving his personal
endorsement. She said the negative ads and negative campaign literature
upset her children more than she had anticipated.
said her first budding exposure to politics was as a junior in high
school where she served as a page for former Rep. Ralph Doxey.
is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, beginning
law practice at age 23 after joining the Mississippi attorney general’s
Fitch, along with Commissioner of Agriculture Cindy Hyde-Smith, are both serving their first terms in state elected offices.
Fitch agreed to this interview prior to her swearing-in and a question and answer style format was chosen.
How are you going to keep in touch with your constituents? Will you use
Facebook like some other elected officials in the state such as Sen.
A. I plan
to maximize the use of social media at the treasurer’s office. It is a
wonderful way to reach out to a broad audience with minimal expense of
taxpayer dollars. Facebook and Twitter will be utilized in various ways
such as promoting awareness of our college savings programs.
You’ll see us use social media in some exciting and innovative ways.
Q. What are a few new things you learned about Mississippi and its citizens during your campaign?
During the campaign, I traveled across Mississippi and went to places
that the GPS (global positioning system) said “turn around, there’s
nothing there!” The campaign confirmed a belief that I’ve always held;
the strength of Mississippi is her people.
and I have been blessed to meet so many people throughout our state who
supported me and who have inspired me. I am excited about facing the
challenges ahead knowing that I will be working to make Mississippi a
greater place for all of the wonderful people I met during my campaign.
Q. What does it mean to you personally to win this position as a former resident of Marshall County and as a woman?
I will never forget where I’m from, and I will be proud to represent my
home county of Marshall County as a statewide elected official.
return home often to visit my father, and it’s always great to catch up
with former classmates and friends while I’m home. It is an honor for
me to follow in the footsteps of the small number of women who have
held statewide office. Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Gandy was one of my
mentors, and I hope that I can serve as a role model to other women and
encourage them to enter the political arena.
the former treasurer, Tate Reeves, reaching out to provide some
background on the job and suggestions and helping you become familiar
with the office and personnel at treasury?
I have already started my transition to the treasurer’s office so that
I will be prepared to lead on Day 1. I have met with the current staff,
and I am working on my legislative agenda.
November, I attended my first official function as the treasurer-elect.
I was invited to celebrate the start of production of the Corolla at
Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Blue Springs. It was an exciting day for
the 1,500 employees and for all of us in Mississippi.
People are already rattling about your possible bid for the number one
spot. Do you think you would be interested in the future or have you
any aspirations for higher office? What would you say about that
Q. What do you want to say about your campaign team and supporters and to those who helped elect you to office?
I am grateful to each and every person who voted for me. I wish I could
personally thank each of the 511,992 voters. I take the responsibility
I have been given very seriously. I will never forget who I work for
and to whom I am accountable.
I will be a tireless worker to bring jobs to Mississippi, cut government spending, and move Mississippi forward.