State Sen. Hillman Frazier
The biggest lesson that I learned in politics is that when there is open and honest dialogue, one can find a common interest to address the problem at hand,”
Mississippi state Sen. Hillman Frazier has never been one to shy away from legislation that makes an impact. In 1995, he led a charge in the Mississippi Legislature to ratify the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Mississipi became the final state to ratify the amendment, which abolished slavery in 1865, after having rejected it 130 years earlier.
Frazier hails from Jackson, Mississippi and was elected to the Senate in 1993. Before that, he served as a representative from 1980-93.
“My focus during the 2022 Legislative Session will be the reapportionment of the Mississippi Congressional and Legislative Districts. Since the State of Mississippi is no longer under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, we must make sure that all districts are properly apportioned,” he said. “Another area that I will focus on is the state budget. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will be working to make sure that education is properly funded from Pre-K to higher education.”
Frazier has enjoyed a series of proud moments while in office, including witnessing the retirement of the former Mississippi state flag.
“I was appointed by Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove over 20 years ago to a commission with a charge to propose a new state flag that we all could unite behind,” Frazier said. “When the new proposed design was presented to the voters it was rejected and the old state flag with the Confederate emblem was retained. In 2019, the COVID pandemic along with the social justice movement gave the Mississippi Legislature additional time to discuss this emotional issue. The faith-based community, business leaders, higher education, athletics and youth played a very important part in moving the needle. It was heartwarming seeing the different factions come together on this most important issue.”
He points to making Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day a state holiday and the passage of the state Residential and Landlord Tenant Act and the Crime Victim’s Compensation Act as other proud moments, while the birth of his children is his proudest personal moment.
Frazier says he has learned a lot while in office.
“The biggest lesson that I learned in politics is that when there is open and honest dialogue, one can find a common interest to address the problem at hand,” he said.
He has served long enough to understand that constituents often forget the length of the legislative process.
“I want my constituents to understand that the legislative process is slow and deliberate; that the defeat of a piece of legislation is a temporary setback. I often remind them that it took us 14 years to pass the Mississippi Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. I also want them to understand that they sent me to the capitol to work with everyone regardless of their party affiliations. I want my constituents to know that I work for them and that they are always welcome to come to the Capitol to express their views,” he said.
Frazier said his biggest goal is to leave Mississippi a better place.
“My goal is to bury the ghosts of the past so Mississippi can realize her full potential. My goal is to make the State of Mississippi a fertile place where positive ideals can flourish. It is my hope that my children and grandchildren will never have to fight the fight that my generation had to fight growing up in the Jim Crow South,” he said.
Outside of office, Frazier has an incredible talent for working on antique vehicles and loves spending time with his family.