MERIDIAN — Gil Carmichael, a two-time Republican nominee for Mississippi governor in the 1970s and head of the Federal Railway Commission under President George H.W. Bush, has died. He was 88.
Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler says Carmichael died of a heart attack Sunday at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian. Services were pending Monday at Wright’s Funeral Home in Quitman.
Carmichael was an early leader in the Mississippi Republican Party when Democrats dominated elected offices in the state. In 1972, he unsuccessfully challenged longtime Democratic U.S. Sen. James O. Eastland. Carmichael ran for governor in 1975 and 1979, losing first to Cliff Finch and then to William Winter, both Democrats.
Gov. Phil Bryant says Carmichael inspired him and many other Republicans.
Carmichael was federal railroad administrator from 1989 to 1993.
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