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Watson making up ground in MSU presidential poll - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

BY ANDY KANENGISERDaily JournalSTARKVILLE - Mississippi State University administrator Vance Watson quickly picked up steam and scores of votes by week's end to become the front-runner in an online presidential poll.Watson is MSU's vice president for agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine who's served the Starkville-based university nearly four decades.The Missouri native's support has picked up during the past two days in the unscientific poll sponsored by the Magnolia Report, an Internet site for Mississippi political junkies.The site listed four prospects for the job to succeed retiring MSU President Charles Lee. The state College Board leaders say they hope to pick a new MSU leader by early April.As of Friday afternoon, Watson was on top with 51 percent of the vote to 44 percent for initial front-runner Mark Keenum, chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. There were 1,434 votes cast. Earlier this week, Keenum led with 83 percent of more than 500 votes recorded. Two other prospects, University of Louisiana at Monroe President Jim Cofer and New York Merchantile Association President Jim Newsome split the remaining 5 percent. Cofer was at 2.8 percent and Newsome at nearly 2 percent. Both are MSU grads.The survey on Magnolia Report, which reportedly - more available

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