Mark Garriga won`t be in the governor`s office when they turn out the lights. Amid rumors floating around for months, Garriga confirmed he will run for the job of top cop – Mississippi`s Attorney General – in 1999.
“I`ve got a very strong belief I could be a very good attorney general,” said Garriga, who serves as chief of staff for Gov. Kirk Fordice. “I`ve been disappointed in the way that a lot of things I have fought for in the Fordice administration haven`t been realized in the attorney general`s opinion. I have a real strong difference of opinion with the existing attorney general over a lot of issues.”
Garriga said many staffers are considering alternatives and the governor encourages them to explore options.
“The most difficult aspect about the transition as the governor`s term nears its end is that a lot of people who have talent, ability, and are now well-recognized, are being recruited (elsewhere).”
“You have to be concerned there may not be anyone left to turn out the lights,” Garriga said. “We really don`t have a plan on who will stay. We do have a plan on how it will all end.”
A transition task force, composed of four staffers and headed by Lisa Ireland, has a checklist of what needs to be done in the remaining year and a half of Fordice`s term, he said.
“As positions come open, we try to determine whether it`s worth recruiting or whether we could consolidate job functions,” Garriga said.