September 2, 2015


Pair Joins Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott as Foundation for Mississippi Team


Today, U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper (R-Pearl) and former Mississippi Republican Party Executive Director Andy Taggart endorsed Ohio Governor John Kasich for President. Taggart will serve as Chairman of Kasich for America in Mississippi and Congressman Harper will serve as a state advisor and a member of the KFA Mississippi leadership team.


The endorsements come just a week after former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott endorsed Gov. Kasich.  Together they will form the foundation of Gov. Kasich’s Mississippi operation on which the campaign will continue to build.


First elected in 2008, Congressman Harper is Mississippi’s senior Republican in the U.S. House, where he applies conservative principles to his efforts to reduce spending, create jobs and increase domestic energy production.  An attorney, Harper served as the prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland, and remains active in the Pearl and Rankin County Chambers of Commerce. 


Said Congressman Harper, “I’m endorsing Governor John Kasich for President because I am confident that he's fully prepared to be a strong, effective leader for our country and because he has proven his ability to tackle difficult issues and win tough elections.  America’s next President must focus a great deal of attention on the national debt, and John Kasich's leadership in Congress and his tenure as Governor of Ohio demonstrate his ability to address this issue head on. Given his background and dedication to the key issues facing America and his proven ability to win important elections by building coalitions of Republicans, independents and conservative Democrats - including his overwhelming re-election as Governor of Ohio - I’m honored to support John Kasich to be the next President of the United States.”


Prior to serving as the state party’s executive director in 1984, Taggart was the party’s political director. He later went on to serve as Chief of Staff to Republican Governor Kirk Fordice –Mississippi’s first Republican governor since the late 1800s.  He is the former president of the Madison County Board of Supervisors, past chairman of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership and is a founding partner of the law firm Taggart, Rimes & Graham, PLLC.


"Governor John Kasich is sounding the message of growth, optimism, strength and inclusion that our country has been waiting for,” said Taggart. “Thirty five years ago, I quit my job to try to help elect a new president because I believed the nation needed Ronald Reagan's leadership. Well, I'm not quitting my job, but I am going to work as hard as I did in those days to help John Kasich win in 2016, because I believe the nation needs his leadership just as badly.  I look forward to working with Congressman Gregg Harper and former Senator Trent Lott in this effort, and we will be introducing other key leaders of the Kasich team in Mississippi very soon."


Kasich expressed his gratitude for their endorsements.  “I am deeply honored to receive these important endorsements from two outstanding and deeply respected Southern Republicans.  Coupled with Former Senator Trent Lott’s endorsement last week, our Mississippi Team is already second to none, and is only going to get stronger.  The response my campaign is receiving in the South, including Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s endorsement last month, is humbling, but yet another sign that our momentum continues to build.”


Gov. Kasich is running for President to help Americans restore our nation, live in safety and pass on prosperity to those who come after us—and he’s got the experience to help us do it. He was reelected last year by a 30-point margin after working with his fellow Ohioans to turn an $8 billion shortfall into a $2 billion surplus, cut taxes $5 billion and create 350,000 jobs.  As chair of the Budget Committee in Congress he led the effort to balance the federal budget for the first time in a generation and served 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee where he helped enact President Reagan's national security agenda.  He has also had a successful career as an investment banker, New York Times best-selling author and at FOX News.  He and his wife Karen have twin teenage daughters and live in their home outside Columbus.

You can learn more about him at