JACKSON, Miss.–Primary election night went to incumbents for the most part in Mississippi. Gov. Bryant, Lt. Gov. Reeves, State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, State Auditor Stacey Pickering and State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney each won the Republican nominations for their positions.
“This race is far from being over,” said Bryant. “You don’t win a general election in August, you win it in November.”
Bryant talked about the economy, education and Mississippi’s progress in his acceptance speech at Republican Party headquarters in Jackson.
“Mississippi’s economy is growing, education is being reformed, your Second Amendment rights are being protested,” he said later in an interview with News Mississippi.
When asked if he thinks Medicaid will ever be expanded, Bryant remained steadfast in his belief that it will not happen.
“If we expanded another 340,000 people, which is the core of the ObamaCare movement, the economic development solution for the Democratic Party is to expand ObamaCare by putting everyone on Medicaid.”
Bryant said more a $1 billion of state money is put into Medicaid every year.
He said Republicans may be looking more toward programs that include medical savings plans and block grants.
“There’s other ways to provide health care to Mississippians that may need it and can work for it and are not asking anything except to be able to get a good job, get some health care and live the American dream and that’s what the Republican Party is all about.”
Democrat Vicki Slater, who was the most visible of three Democrats who wanted to run against Bryant, lost to Robert Gray, a relatively quiet candidate.
Slater was prepared for a run-off and in her speech criticized Bryant’s position on Medicaid expansion.
“We want our schools fully-funded, we want Medicaid expansion and we want jobs in this state.”
In the state auditor’s race, Republican Stacey Pickering will face Democrat Joe Pritchett, after a battle with Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler for the nomination.
“Negative campaigning, people say it works. I don’t think people like negative campaigning. They don’t like mudslinging, a smear campaign. They expect truth, they expect results,” said Pickering.
He said he believes his record will carry him to victory in November.
Hawkins-Butler said she would do it all over again, if given the chance.
“What has come out of this campaign, we have shined light. I do believe we’ll see campaign reform.”
State Treasurer Lynn Fitch said she believes her positive message is what helped her defeat David McRae.
“We will continue to work on college savings. You’ll see us outreach a lot about MPACT and MACS. I’m going to continue to work on financial literacy because we’ve got to provide that critical life skill to out children to understand the basics of finance.”
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves will face off with former state senator Tim Johnson, whose platform revolves around expanding Medicaid. Johnson won the Democrat nomination.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney won the Republican nomination, beating body shop owner John Mosely. Chaney pointed out that Mosely’s campaign centered around regulating insurance payments to body shops.