Brian Neely - Country Lawyer
Commercial Appeal - 'Country lawyer' pushes highways, schools, health; Ex-Marine seeks to replace Wicker in First District seat - Brian Neely is keying his Democratic Party primary race for the First District U.S. House seat on three main issues: Infrastructure improvements, educational reform and health care reform. He describes himself as a "country lawyer," practicing primarily in Lee and surrounding counties, but he formerly served as the appointed Lee County prosecuting attorney. Among his ideas to help First District residents, Neely has some ideas for DeSoto County in particular. "For example, I believe there should be a by-pass in DeSoto County to move the traffic from U.S. 78 over to Interstate 55 without all that congestion on Goodman Road," he said. "That would help commerce, but it would also save money for the through-traffic and it would cut down on the air pollution there." Similarly, he said it's ridiculous that people in Tupelo must rely on the two-lane Natchez Trace Parkway as their best route to the state capitol in Jackson. And he said leaders should work on getting a four-lane highway from Columbus to Birmingham. "Our leaders should do what they can to help our citizens, and we need someone who can also work with leaders in other states like Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas," he said. But he said the experience with the VA pharmacy "shows me that we need prescription medical relief. "If the VA can negotiate for better prices on drugs, so could Medicare. It's obscene that we allow the system to keep punishing our elderly citizens on drugs when we could make life better for them. Neely said his campaign will be characterized mainly by networking -- door-to-door work by himself and his aides -- and through television and newspaper advertising. "I have 12 local chairmen in the 22 counties, but we're very well organized," he said.