BUSINESS

Q & A with Mississippi Rep. Oscar Denton, D-Vicksburg

By Terrence Johnson
Mississippi Capitol Press Corps

 

denton

Photo from http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/members/house/denton.xml

What is your name, age, where are you from?

Oscar Denton, 63, from Vicksburg.

What is your title? Where did you attend college? What degrees do you hold?

Representative of District 55 – Warren. Democrat. Graduate of Rose Temple High School and Utica Junior College. Employed by AT&T.

What are some of Mississippi’s best qualities? What does Mississippi do best?

“I think one of the best qualities of Mississippi is that we are a giving people. I think we lead the country as far as giving per capita.”

What are Mississippi’s biggest problems and challenge?

“The biggest challenge, to put in the simplest form, is money. It takes money to do everything. That’s our challenge, getting more revenue in this state.”

What legislation or policy are you currently working on, and how will it impact the state?

“It’s several that I am working on. One of the important ones is changing the state flag. It would be changing the way that others view us. To me, it gives Mississippi a black eye. We need to change that?”

Tell us about an issue that you feel is important that hasn’t received a lot of media coverage?

“One is the shape that our roads and bridges are in. I know it receives some coverage, but people do not know the magnitude of the problem. Everyone focuses on Jackson, but it’s a problem that almost every city in the state is having.”

What do you like most about your job?

“I get an opportunity to help people. When people call for help, I can. I will. If I can’t, I try to refer them to someone who can.”

What is the hardest part of your job?

“The hardest part of the job is doing something and getting a majority vote. In some cases, I need roughly 70 people to go with me. And everybody has their own ideas on how things works. It’s to get legislation passed.”

What issues keep you up at night?

“I’ll be honest, I try to let no issues keep me up at night. I have the mindset that I can only do what I can do. I lean on God to give me a peaceful mind so that I can go to sleep at night. You won’t be effective if you can’t rest.”

What drives you to continue serving the people in this role?

“The need. I see the need of people with my mindset. Most of this stuff is common sense. Let’s do something about it. We need to stop kicking the can down the road.”

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

“The most important thing is that I have a loving and supportive wife and three kids. You need a supportive family. I have a life outside of this. I am involved in my community. I am always trying to help children that are growing up like me.”

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