Candidate Q&A: Senate District 47

Election 2023

Our public education questionnaire is offered to candidates in statewide and legislative elections. Search for candidates’ questionnaire responses below.
Election dates: Primary – August 8, 2023, General – November 7, 2023

General Election Candidates:
Mike Seymour (Incumbent)  •  George “Tony” Uram

Mike Seymour (Incumbent)


Scott Strickland (defeated in primary)


George "Tony" Uram

1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family?
Overall with 3 children going through Mississippi public schools, it was a good experience.

2. Do you agree that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) should be fully funded every year? If yes, what actions will you take to ensure full funding? If no, explain why.
Yes. MS schools should be fully funded. However, the current MAEP funding mechanism is not adequate.

3. What will you do to ensure state revenue that is sufficient to provide all of the services Mississippi’s citizens need to lead productive lives?
If I am reading the question right! Making sure all of the Mississippi state government is fully funded and has the necessary resources to function properly.

4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not?

5. Do you agree that all K-12 schools that receive taxpayer dollars, including private voucher schools, should be accountable to taxpayers for the quality of education they provide, using the same accountability measures as public schools?

6. Public schools serve the vast majority of Mississippi students with disabilities. Do you agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year? (Special education has been underfunded by the state every year since 2008.) If yes, how will you accomplish full funding? If no, explain why.
Yes, special education should be funded with the same revenue as public schools.

7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide?

8. The nation’s top teachers say that the greatest barriers to school success for K-12 students are family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological problems. What steps do you believe legislators should take to alleviate these obstacles for Mississippi children?
Provide a safe learning environment, and counselors for children.

9. In the 2022 Legislative Session, a significant teacher pay raise was passed. Do you support continued pay increases to ensure that Mississippi’s teacher salaries keep pace with inflation and salaries in our neighboring states?

10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature?
No, I consider that double dipping. If you are drawing a state retirement and working as a legislator, you are contributing to the same retirement fund as you are drawing from.

11. Legislators have little or no staff to help them understand the many bills they must consider. Before introducing or supporting a bill that could affect public education, will you commit to seeking input from teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents of public school students in your district? Who will be advising you on education policies?
I look forward to hearing from the citizens from my district. Especially from individuals that can provide me with a deeper understanding of the school system.

12. In the past, legislators have received tremendous pressure from the leaders of their chamber (House or Senate), state and party leaders, and corporate lobbyists, to vote in ways that could contradict the will of their constituents and harm their communities. How would you respond to such pressure?

That is one of the reasons I am running as a independent candidate, I will vote for or against legislation based on the merits of the bill and if it is for the betterment of my constitutes and the state.

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