Phil Bryant to begin 2nd term as Mississippi governor


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Republican Phil Bryant is beginning his second and final term as Mississippi governor.

His inauguration ceremony - with the theme "Imagine Mississippi" - was to take place at midday Tuesday on the south steps of the Capitol. Security was tight, with extra police officers and Highway Patrol troopers in and around the building.

After the ceremony, a parade was scheduled in downtown Jackson, and a $50-per-ticket inaugural ball was set for the evening at the Jackson Convention Complex.

Bryant, 61, was not expected to offer detailed policy proposals during his inaugural address. Instead, aides said he would discuss his legislative agenda during his Jan. 26 State of the State speech.

Bryant easily defeated the Democratic nominee, long-haul truck driver Robert Gray, in the November election.

Before winning an open governor's race in 2011, he previously served four years as lieutenant governor and 10 as state auditor. He started his political career as a state representative from Rankin County.

During his first term as governor, Bryant signed a law requiring third graders to pass a reading exam before advancing to the fourth grade. He has also emphasized job creation in one of the poorest states in the nation.

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