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Former Mississippi Gov. Bill Allain dies at 85

  • Article by: EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS
  • Associated Press
  • December 2, 2013 - 5:00 PM

JACKSON, Miss. — Former Mississippi Gov. Bill Allain, a Democrat who appointed many women and minorities to government jobs and strengthened the executive branch by removing lawmakers from state boards, died Monday in Jackson.

A nephew, Tom Allain, says the former governor was 85.

Allain was state governor from January 1984 to January 1988, after serving a four-year term as Mississippi's attorney general.

He was the first Mississippi governor in modern times who could've sought a second consecutive term after a ban on gubernatorial succession was lifted in 1986. He chose not to seek re-election.

Associates said Allain's restructuring of state government was his greatest public policy achievement. He also appointed the first black justice to the Mississippi Supreme Court and made government more inclusive by hiring significant numbers of women and minorities.

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