Name: Daniel Cross
Occupation: Chief Fire Instructor, Mississippi Fire Academy
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, University of Memphis
Family: Wife Julie and son Layne who is 11 years old
What makes you the best candidate in your particular race?
I truly believe in the importance of service to others. My background in the fire service and law enforcement has exposed me to all types of situations and has given me the opportunity to help people during their most critical times of need. This not only requires compassion and courage, but is firmly anchored in devotion to duty and willingness to accept responsibility. It is my strong belief that the same spirit of public service is needed in helping Rankin County to navigate the critical strategic decisions which will define our future. I am a product of my community and am totally committed to its betterment. Deeply ingrained with this genuine spirit of public service, I pledge to bring honor to this office and cannot be bought, bartered or badgered. I will always listen to the interests of our citizens and build the teamwork necessary to accomplish our common goals, always with the future of our children in mind.
What is one thing voters should know about you before going to the polls?
Voters should know that I place honesty and integrity over expediency or private interests- that I will bring honor and dignity to the office if given this privilege by the citizens of Rankin County.
In your opinion what is the single most crucial issue facing Ranking County?
There are a myriad of very important things such as ambulance service, water systems, infrastructure, law enforcement, education resources etc, all of which will demand deep thought and attention, but the underlying crucial issue is not to lose sight of the fact that we must keep our infrastructure growing in proportion to our explosive population growth. This will take some very deliberate and smart strategic thinking. Many people think that the solution to everything is to immediately throw money at all problems, but I believe this can be done by efficient management of our existing resources and without tax increases. I pledge to never vote to raise anyone’s taxes until it can be proven beyond doubt that total efficiency exists in the management of our current revenues.
Have you ever held public office before?
No. But I have been employed in serving the public all of my adult life.
What jobs have you had that you feel qualify you for political office?
I have been a first responder as a firefighter and reserve deputy sheriff in Rankin County all my adult life. I am a college graduate with a degree in fire science and have numerous professional qualifications. This background has exposed me to all kinds of emergencies and has honed my ability to calmly and effectively deal with crisis situations as well as strategic planning and management of large budgets. I have learned how to achieve the best outcomes with limited funding. It has also exposed me to the entire spectrum of human emotions and has awakened my conscience to the importance of the needs of others.
What historical figure (dead or alive) inspires you most and why?
I am most inspired by my grandfather who was a prisoner of war during World War II. Most would not identify him as a historical figure but I do and here’s why. He was part of the “greatest generation” of Americans, not because of wealth or fame, but because of commitment to duty. Not only did he do his part to save freedom, but he returned after the war, served on his local school board, was clerk of his church for 35 years, and raised four children on a small farm, putting them all through college. His entire life was devoted to the betterment of others. He left this world a better place than he found it. That should be the goal of all who ask for public office.