Voters in Mississippi will choose between a first-term Republican governor and a Democratic governor associated with Elvis
Jackson, Miss. (AP) – Republican governor. Tate Reeves He is trying to win a second term in a conservative state dominated by his party, but he is competitive Brandon Presley She has raised more money and is making a strong push to give Democrats a rare statewide victory in the Deep South.
Heading into Tuesday’s election, Reeves told voters that Mississippi has momentum in job creation, lower unemployment and improved education. He says out-of-state liberal donors to Pressley’s campaign are trying to change Mississippi.
“For Brandon Pressley to believe anything he says, you have to believe that everything in Mississippi is bad,” Reeves said last week during the nominees’ ceremony. Discussion only.
Presley, a public utility regulator and cousin of the late rock ‘n’ roll star Elvis Presley, says Reeves hurt the state by refusing to… Expand Medicaid To cover people who work in low-wage jobs that do not provide health insurance. Pressley also pledged to clean up government corruption, pointing out: Welfare money This was spent on projects for the rich and powerful rather than helping some of the poorest people in one of the poorest states in the country.
“He’s not going to open his mouth about ethics reform,” Pressley said of Reeves. “He is the poster child of this corrupt, corrupt system.”
Republicans have held the office of governor of Mississippi for the past twenty years. They hold all statewide offices and enjoy a wide majority in the legislature. The last time a Democrat won a presidential election in Mississippi was in 1976, when fellow Southerner Jimmy Carter was on the ballot.
Presley’s campaign raised $11.3 million this year, compared to $6.3 million for Reeves. But Reeves started the year with more money. By late October, Presley had spent $10.8 million and still had $1.3 million, while Reeves had spent $11 million and still had $1.2 million.
For the first time, Mississippi has the possibility of a runoff in the governor’s race if no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote. Independent candidate Gwendolyn Gray announced weeks ago her withdrawal from the elections and her support for Presley, but she did so after the votes were counted.
Mississippi voters in 2020 He abolished the Jim Crow era method of electing the governor and other statewide officials, which requires a candidate to win the popular vote and a majority of the 122 House districts. Without both, the race is decided by House members who are not obligated to vote as their districts do. The House rarely decided races, but that method was written by white supremacists with the goal of keeping black candidates out of office.
Reeves, 49, served two terms as state treasurer and two terms as lieutenant governor before winning an open race for governor in 2019.
Pressley, 46, served as mayor of his small town of Nettleton for six years before being elected in 2007 to the three-person Mississippi Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities.
Jimmy Ware of Natchez, a retired electrician who supports Presley, said the local Democratic Party and NAACP are planning a big push to increase black turnout on Election Day.
“We’re going to get us to the polls,” Ware said. “We’re going to go through the neighborhoods. We’re going to use our bullhorn. We’re going to do everything we can to get people to go to the polls.”
Heather McGee of Columbus, who owns a construction company, said she would vote for Reeves, as she did in 2019.
“After COVID and seeing how other states have dealt with it and Tate has dealt with it and just seeing that we’ve grown through it while others have taken steps backwards,” McGee said. “There’s no way I’m going to vote for anyone else after what he did.”
Reeves issued a Stay-at-home order Early in the pandemic, but he was reluctant to impose long-term restrictions on schools and businesses, even then Some hospitals were overcrowded.
Mississippi voters also elect other statewide officials.
Republican Lt. Delbert Hosemann faces a Democratic challenger who has spent little money, business consultant Dr. Ryan Grover. in Controversial Republican primaries In August, Hosemann defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
Republican Attorney General Len Fitch, who led his office Legal battle to overturn Roe v. Wade And change access to abortion, seeks a second term. It has been challenged by Democrats Greta Kemp MartinMississippi disability rights attorney.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com