With less than two months until Mississippians decide on their next governor, incumbent Republican Tate Reeves has agreed to debate Democratic challenger Brandon Presley.
Following a hospital initiatives announcement on Thursday, Reeves confirmed that his campaign team is working with Presley’s to solidify multiple debates.
“Our team is working with their team to schedule,” Reeves said. “I’m sure we’re going to have debates. We’ve always had debates.”
The news from Reeves comes after Presley challenged him to five debates across the state in August. The challenger accused Reeves of backing down due to an alleged role in the largest public fraud scheme in Mississippi history.
“I won’t back down from a debate because, unlike Tate Reeves, I am not afraid to face the people of Mississippi,” Presley said at the time. “Citizens are owed debates from candidates for governor, and I’ll debate anywhere, anytime. Tate Reeves has been caught red-handed in the largest welfare scandal in state history and he doesn’t want to answer for his role in it.”
Reeves responded to Presley’s remarks on Thursday, saying he is not shying away. The incumbent told reporters that he is actually eager to defend his record against Presley, whom he considers to be a dishonest politician.
“I’ll be honest with you. I look forward to getting on the stage with that individual who seems to have a really hard time telling the truth,” Reeves said. “It doesn’t matter the topic. He has an easy time lying about it.”
“I give him credit. He’s a really talented politician, and that is to say, he is willing to lie about anything. He’s willing to stand in any room and say what he thinks they want to hear and then he goes to the next room and says something exactly opposite based upon what he believes their political views are.”
As of now, a debate has not been scheduled between Reeves and Presley. The governor’s campaign team has confirmed to SuperTalk Mississippi News that the two parties are in active discussions regarding a time to hold the debate.
The general election takes place on Tuesday, November 7. Mississippians have until Monday, October 9 to register to vote in the general election.