Dunn announces bid for Congress

Morgan Dunn, a 36-year-old native of Magee, Mississippi, has announced her campaign for Congress. (Submitted)
Staff Writer

Morgan Dunn, a Magee native, recently threw her name into the race for the Third Congressional District seat that will be vacated by Republican Rep. Gregg Harper.

Mississippi’s Third Congressional District covers a wide swath of central Mississippi from Starkville to Natchez.

Dunn is a University of Mississippi graduate with a bachelor of arts in English and theatre. She and her husband Chris have been married for 15 years, and the couple has three children: Sawyer (13), Ava (11) and Wynn (8), and a silver Lab named Bruno and a Bichon Frise named Alex. The family attends First United Methodist Church of Magee.

Dunn is the founder and managing director of Vestra, LLC, a health care consulting firm, and a consultant for Rush Health Systems in Meridian.

She is the former chief executive officer for Rural Solutions, LLC, and the former senior vice president for Pioneer Health Services. She developed one of the first national rural population health models and was awarded as one of the 50 leading business women in Mississippi. Her family also owns Zip's Cafe in Magee.

"I understand every aspect of health care," Dunn said. "I understand it as an insurance card carrier, I understand it from an employer perspective. I understand it from a provider perspective. I can tell you how plans are paid and how their billed. I can tell you how the network is billed. And I can also tell you the insurance side."

Dunn's background in the health care industry inspired her to run for Congress, focusing her campaign on improving rural medicine, which she said will also improve Mississippi's infrastructure and economy.

"You aren't going to fix it in D.C. unless you fully understand it," Dunn said.

Dunn said the first thing companies look at when wanting to locate to an area is education and healthcare.

"If you don't have strong ones, you're not recruiting," she said. "If you don't have a strong education infrastructure, you're not going to maintain jobs, and you're not going to recruit new ones. Also, those millennials and your kids your'e trying to raise aren't going to move back home."

Dunn said she wants to work alongside with the Trump administration to create a health care system that will benefit patients, insurance providers and patients. Without all three succeeding, all three will suffer, she said.

Dunn said mental health is another issue she feels passionate about, and she wants to improve in Congress.

"Mental health is such an impactful issue for not just the person who has mental health issues, but their family and their support system," she said.

Better mental health resources would also increase better school security, she said, and help prevent tragedies such as the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Dunn said she also wants to improve veterans' affairs and help to provide them with better access to mental and physical health care.

In addition to better health care for veterans, Dunn said she is a supporter of the federal government allowing the National Guard or other trained service men and women to guard schools, which will not only keep children safer but create jobs for veterans.

"They're trained to do it," she said. "They go to other countries and protect their schools, why can't they protect ours."

Dunn said she is a believer in term limits and the government being represented by the people for the people, not career politicians.

"President Trump is a little inspiring," she said. "Coming out of the business, private sector and defeating very large figure, I think it surprised the world. I think he is doing a bang-up job. I think our economy is booming, and I support a lot of what he is doing."

Dunn said when she is elected to Congress, she looks forward to working with President Trump in improve Mississippi's infrastructure.

"That's what I want to tell Trump," Dunn said. "Let's talk infrastructure. Mississippi infrastructure is not downtown New York City infrastructure. Both are very important, but Mississippi is very different when we're talking infrastructure."

Six Republicans have filed in recent weeks to run in that district: state Sen. Sally Doty of Brookhaven, district attorney Michael Guest of Brandon, businessman Whit Hughes of Madison, businessman Perry Parker of Seminary and former school administrator Katherine Tate of Jackson.

Two Democrats have qualified for the race: State Rep. Michael Ted Evans of Preston and Michael Aycox of Newton,