Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Lester Spell delivered what many said was the best line of Thursday's political speeches. Spell, who announced in June he would not seek a fifth term, was elected as a Democrat in 1995 but switched to the Republican Party in 2005. He told the crowd at the Pavilion he was recently asked about his legacy.

He replied, "I'd like to be remembered as the last Democrat ever to be elected as Agriculture Commissioner in Mississippi."

Gov. Haley R. Barbour responded to Attorney General Jim Hood's joke that he wanted to start an "Indian war."

Barbour said his ancestor, Choctaw Chief Greenwood Leflore, would be surprised, as would former Chief Philip Martin. Barbour said in accordance with Choctaw self-determination, he believes the full tribe should vote on whether to spend $18 million on opening a "slot parlor" in Jones County.

Barbour said because of Mississippi's improving work force, business friendly policies, excellent location, tort reform, the "port of the future" in Gulfport and most of all the attitude and spirit of Mississippians, he is optimistic about the state's economic future.

Barbour was preceded by Treasurer Tate Reeves who named being a watchdog for taxpayers as his number one priority; Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann who advocated expanded childhood education as a key to job creation; and Lt. Governor Phil Bryant who brought with him the lieutenant governors of Minnesota and Alaska.

Reeves, Hosemann and Bryant announced no future intentions; although Reeves joked he wants to pursue being "Secretary of the Treasury in President Barbour's 2012 administration." Hosemann took a shot at Bryant's lawsuit against Obamacare saying businesses should prepare to deal with the burdens of the new legislation.

"A lawsuit is not the answer," Hosemann said, "we need a plan." Bryant responded his lawsuit might not be the answer but "it is a darn good start."

Chief Justice Bill Waller praised Judge Vernon Cotten's efforts with drug court. Waller said drug courts save the state $12,000 per participant and Neshoba County's 128 participants account for $1.5 million. Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said of high insurance costs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast he believes a "free market solution is the best solution; not a government solution."

Republican Bill Marcy, who is challenging Second District incumbent Democrat Bennie Thompson, walked onto stage to a Public Enemy soundtrack and said, "Mississippians deserve a fair shake; not a shake down" referencing ethics allegations against Thompson.

Democrat Joel Gill is challenging Third District Republican incumbent Gregg Harper and criticized free trade for sending jobs to Mexico, then to Central America, and now China.

Challenging Fourth District incumbent Gene Taylor were Libertarian Tim Hampton and Republican Steven Palazzo. Hampton promised, "I will go to DC not to regulate you, but to regulate the federal government." Palazzo called for a "revolt at the ballot box" to "fire Nancy Pelosi" and "repeal and replace Obamacare."