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Jennifer Riley Collins Officially Declares Attorney General Bid- Full Statement

February 15, 2019- Jennifer Riley Collins

Thank you, Pastor Biard for your prayers and your kind words. Thank you, Mother Biard for also being here and for being my Mudear.

Thank you, to my sisters Minister Debra Brewer. Debra, you have assumed the role of family matriarch. I know, therefore, that you stand in for Daddy and Mama whose sacrificial investments of hard work and prioritizing education are yielding returns not only in my life but for our entire family. 

My sister Bettye Jones, who has always been my number one cheerleader, it has been your unyielding encouragement that has helped me come this far by faith.

My niece Stacee Naylor, who has been more like a sister and a friend thank you for always saying, “we got this."

To my other siblings Toye, Monty and Marty, my eldest Auntie - Aunt Barbara, Uncles Charles, Donnie, Anthony, and other family who could not be here physically due to distance and obligations and to my parents who are watching from Heaven,  know that I feel your presence and generational prayers encircling me.

To my three sons- Joseph, Jonathan and Joshua the Bible says, “Her children rise up and call her blessed."  You paraphrase blessed and say “Mom you are a balla,” or “Mom making boss moves.” 

I thank you for being here as you know better than others the hills, valleys, and mountains God has brought us over. Yours have been  the voices reminding me when I was tired that God has not ever left us nor forsaken us.

Thank you for making me laugh and cry all at the same time.  You compel me to always do more, learn more and inspire more and so I do because I want life to be better for you.

To my friends, supporters, encouragers, church family thank you for your presence and prayers.

I stand here today on the shoulders of my grandparents, but especially my grandmothers Eula Hampton Burwell and Queen Ester Riley Calloway, who were both groundbreaking women of courage.

To my grandchildren Travis Michael and Drew Riley and to any other little girl or boy who may be growing up next to the railroad track, literally or figuratively, I am standing here for you.

I am humbled to stand here in this historic space of the two Museums where Mississippi  History and Mississippi Civil Rights converge.

I am honored to stand in this moment of opportunity though stony the paths that have brought us, Mississippi can be the home of the free and the brave.

I stand recognizing that yesterday marked 140 years since February 14, 1879 when Blanche Kelso Bruce was the first African American to preside over the U.S. Senate and later the first African American to win any votes at a major party's nominating convention.

I stand recognizing that on Feb 23, 1870, Hiram Revels became the first African American elected to represent the entirety of Mississippi.

I stand here almost 149 years to the day after the Honorable Hiram Revels was elected, to announce my candidacy to be the next Attorney General of the Great State of Mississippi.

Today, with this announcement, we embark upon the writing of a new story, not forgetting our past or erasing our heritage but instead embracing it with determination to build a new narrative where the beauty of this state, and all who call it home, are served and protected. 

I am running for Attorney General because I am called by God to serve and protect. That calling is found in the Book of Isaiah wherein the Bible reads at verse 8, “The Lord loves justice."

The Attorney General has the primary duty to do justice.  The Attorney General is responsible to serve the legal interests of the State of Mississippi. The best and legal interests of the State of Mississippi are to ensure justice is served for all Mississippians, and to protect our most vulnerable. 

Serving as Attorney General will allow me to continue dedicated service to this nation and state.

In 1985, I lifted my hand then and swore to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. I went on to serve as a US Army Intelligence Officer for 32 years before retiring at the rank of Colonel.

I lift my hand today and promise that when elected I will protect and serve this state and its wonderful and beautiful people. I will be the Attorney General who serves and protects the best and legal interest of all Mississippians.

Mississippi needs, and I will be, an Attorney General that engages on law enforcement actions that promote the well being of the entire community.  My uncles, family members and even the young men who grew up with my sons who are now police officers. I know you, like I, want to want to see them come home each night. Just as much as we want to see our sons come home each evening and neighborhoods kept safe.  I will support both law enforcement and community which leads to all of us be safe.

Mississippi is beautiful.  Mississippi is home. When I briefly worked away, I longed for Mississippi pine trees.  As Attorney General, I will ensure that Mississippi’s natural resources are protected.

I will work hard to protect vulnerable populations, including veterans.

I will combat the opiod epidemic.

I will strengthen protections for victims of crime.

I, however, cannot do any of this alone.  Together we can. Together we will!

I appreciate you being here today to show your support. I humbly ask for your vote. 

God bless you and may God bless the great state of Mississippi.