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Meet Clay

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I am honored to serve you in the Mississippi House District 56.

For twenty years, the people of House District 56 have benefitted from solid, conservative leadership with Speaker Philip Gunn.  I am honored to continue that leadership and take up the mantle and continue advancing common sense solutions to the issues facing our state.

From economic and educational issues to infrastructure and public safety concerns, it is my intention to represent the people of Clinton, Madison and Flora following the common sense, problem-solving conservative Republican ideas that have moved Mississippi in a positive direction since Republicans gained control over legislative and statewide offices.

Originally from Madison County, I moved to Clinton in 1997 to attend Mississippi College and earned a degree in Business Administration. I and my wife of twenty-one years, Amanda Puryear, decided to stay in Clinton after college and start our family. We have three children: Annabelle (15), Bentlee (9) and Grayson (2). We attend Morrison Heights Baptist Church.

I have spent my entire career as an entrepreneur and small business owner. I understand firsthand how government regulations and bureaucracy can impede private sector growth and make it harder for small business owners to provide for their families. Owning several local eateries and ten local community newspapers in the state, including papers in both Hinds and Madison Counties, gives me the unique perspective to understand the needs of District 56.

I am not a politician. In fact, until encouraged to run for this office by Philip Gunn, holding political office had never been on my radar. For twenty-five years, I have been a serial entrepreneur and owner of multiple successful businesses.   This experience has taught me the absolute importance of conservative fiscal management, as well as given me the skill set to get along with a wide array of people and get things accomplished.

In addition to responsible management of taxpayer dollars, I also will prioritize job creation and economic development, education, public safety, and infrastructure.

The children in Mississippi's foster care system are also especially near and dear to my heart.

Our family has fostered eleven foster children over the last four years and adopted one child. Each life has value, and we must protect all of our children and ensure they are given every opportunity to succeed in life. For the sake of these children, as well as every child in Mississippi, it is crucial that our state institutions function at the highest possible effectiveness.

Serving people and our community is a high priority in my life.  I serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Merit Health Central Hospital, Vice President for the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, immediate Past President of the Mississippi College Alumni Association and Treasurer for Main Street Clinton.  I am also a board member of the Hinds Community College Foundation Board and have served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Clinton Public Schools.

When called upon to serve, I take it seriously, and I step up to do the work. If you see fit to elect me, I promise to serve you honorably and do the work.

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Education

Businesses

Awards

Mississippi College, Business Administration degree

Small Business of the Year, Clinton Chamber of Commerce

Outstanding New Business of the Year, Mississippi Main Street

Top 40 Entrepreneur, Mississippi Business Journal

Distinguished Service Award, Clinton Chamber of Commerce

Business of the Year, Northpark Mall

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Community Involvement

Vice President for the Clinton Chamber of Commerce

Immediate Past President of the Mississippi College Alumni Association

Treasurer for Main Street Clinton

Past board member of Mississippi Main Street Association

Board member of the Mississippi Brilla Soccer Ministries

Past board member of the Metropolitan YMCAs of Mississippi

Served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Clinton Public Schools

Served on the Clinton Career Complex Advisory Committee

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