Fordice in running for high Corps post

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 22, 2002

[03/22/02]Former Gov. Kirk Fordice, also a former Vicksburg resident, confirmed his name has been mentioned for a job in the Secretary of the Army’s Office but he has no idea of his chances.

From 1992 to 2000, Fordice, 67, served two terms as Mississippi’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

The Meridian Star said in a brief news story March 12, that Fordice had been mentioned as a replacement for former Rep. Mike Parker as assistant secretary of the Army for civil works. Parker was fired by President Bush after Parker criticized budget cuts for civil works, including water projects in Mississippi. Bush had appointed Parker to the post and will name a replacement.

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“That’s correct. My name has been put forward,” Fordice, who now lives in Madison, said Thursday.

He said he’s uncertain just who has been suggesting him, but said he has been told it was people in the engineering and technical community in the Mississippi River Valley.

“Lord knows, I have the qualifications,” Fordice said. He had been an engineer and owner and operator of a heavy-construction company for 40 years before seeking election.

Fordice Construction Co. bid on and received many contracts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and headed an operation that provided the cast concrete articulated mats used in revetting the banks of the Mississippi River.

Before running for governor, Fordice turned over operation of the Vicksburg-based firm to his sons, Dan and Hunter Fordice.

Fordice, a native of Memphis, has an engineering master’s from Purdue University. He also served as president of the national organization of general contractors before entering politics.