(February 10, 1934 – September 7, 2004), was an American politician and businessman who served as the 61st Governor of Mississippi from 1992 to 2000.
His tenure was marked by racial tensions, an extramarital affair with his high school sweetheart, and a subsequent divorce from his wife of 44 years to marry her.
He was the first Republican governor of the state since Reconstruction-era governor Adelbert Ames, who served from 1874 to 1876, and the first governor elected to two consecutive four-year terms (following a 1987 amendment to the state constitution).
Fordice was a staunch conservative, running on a pro-business, anti-crime, low-tax, family values platform.A successful businessman, Fordice took over his father's construction company and became a millionaire.
He ran for governor in 1991 as a Republican, championing various conservative causes.
Although initially popular among voters, Fordice gained notoriety for his controversial statements.
He opposed affirmative action, championed anti-crime programs, led welfare reform efforts, and proudly touted his conservative Christian views.
Many non-white voters and impoverished or disadvantaged Mississippians protested against the Fordice administration.
He was also criticized by environmentalists, who viewed Fordice as a denier of science.