2005 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Little, Chaney, Burton, Brown, Browning, Butler, Carmichael, Davis, Doxey, Flowers, Frazier, Gollott, Gordon, Harden, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (11th), Jackson (15th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan, King, Kirby, Lee (35th), Mettetal, Michel, Moffatt, Nunnelee, Pickering, Robertson, Ross, Simmons, Thames, Walley, Walls, White, Wilemon, Dearing, Posey, Morgan
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF FORMER MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR KIRK FORDICE AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE ON HIS PASSING.
WHEREAS, former Mississippi Governor Daniel Kirkwood "Kirk" Fordice, Jr., passed away on Tuesday, September 7, 2004; and
WHEREAS, Governor Fordice served as Governor of the State of Mississippi from 1992-2000; and
WHEREAS, Governor Fordice will go down in history for significant firsts: trailblazing as the first GOP Governor since Reconstruction, establishing Mississippi as a true two-party state, being the first to win back-to-back gubernatorial terms in modern times, championing private enterprise, and as a non-politician who earned the respect even of his foes. He left a memorable, lasting mark; and
WHEREAS, on January 14, 1992, Fordice became Mississippi's 61st Governor, making him the first Republican elected as its Chief Executive in 118 years. On November 7, 1995, Mississippians went to the polls and ensured Fordice yet another place in Mississippi history as the only Mississippi Governor in the Twentieth Century elected to serve two consecutive four-year terms, and as only the second Governor to do so since statehood in 1817. Governor Fordice proposed and signed into law legislation to eliminate the marriage penalty in the state income tax code, created charter schools, banned same-sex marriages and partial-birth abortions. He imprinted his brand of fiscal conservatism on Mississippi's budget by creating the first-ever "Rainy Day Fund" and leaving Mississippi's budget with a surplus. He introduced welfare reform and the creation of a statewide trauma care network to Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, he was born February 10, 1934, in Memphis, Tennessee. After graduation from East High School, where he was President of the student body, a varsity football player, a swimmer and Commander of the ROTC Battalion, Fordice attended Purdue University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering in 1956, and a Master's Degree in Industrial Management in 1957. In 1996, he received the Civil Engineering Achievement Award through the Purdue University School of Engineering. He was a life member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. Following graduate school, Fordice served two years' active duty as an Engineer Officer in the First Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. He served 18 more years in the Army Reserve, and retired in 1977 from the Reserve with the rank of Colonel at age 43; and
WHEREAS, Fordice was former CEO of Fordice Construction Company, a heavy-construction general contracting firm. Fordice became national President of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) in 1990. In 1992, AGC, whose 32,000 member companies employ 3.5 million people, presented its "Man of the Year" award to Governor Fordice, the first time the award had ever gone to a member of the association. Governor Fordice was a registered professional engineer, a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and past-president of its Vicksburg branch. Fordice was an avid outdoorsman and horseman. He competed regularly in cutting-horse competitions throughout Mississippi and won titles in these competitions. He was a member of both Game Conservation International and the Safari Club International, and has listings in Rowlands and Wards and SCI Big Game record books. He was also an active pilot and held a commercial pilot's license with instrument and multiengine ratings; and
WHEREAS, Governor Fordice's surviving family is former First Lady of Mississippi, Pat, of Madison; his daughter, Angie Roselle of Vicksburg; his sons, Hunter Fordice and Dan Fordice of Vicksburg; and Dr. Jim Fordice of Nashville, Tennessee; 12 grandchildren; and his beloved dog, Lance; and
WHEREAS, we mourn with the Fordice family for the loss of a loved one, and we mourn with Mississippi for the loss of a leader: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and legacy of former Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice and express to his surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Governor Fordice and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.