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Petal Mayor won’t enter gubernatorial race

Petal Mayor Hal Marx. Photo courtesy of the City of Petal

As one GOP candidate joined the race for Governor yesterday, another dropped out. 

Prior to Lt. Governor Tate Reeves’ announcement that he had officially joined the race, Petal Mayor Hal Marx stated he will not run after his wife, Mindy, was recently diagnosed with cancer. 

Marx was the first to announce that he intended to run back in May, but with the recent news, he said in a Facebook post that this isn’t the right time. 

“After praying and talking it over with Mindy, I have decided that this year is not the right time for me to be campaigning for governor of our state. I owe Mindy my full attention and support. As much as I wish to serve our state, I want to be there for my wife when she needs me most. Family is always more important than politics,” Marx said. 

In his announcement, Marx said that he will continue to serve as the Mayor of his hometown of Petal, and that he is thankful for those who encouraged him to seek a higher office. Marx went on to say that while this didn’t shake out as he hoped, he will continue to explore his options on the future. 

“It is a humbling experience to have so many people believe in my ability to lead our great state. While this year is not in God’s plan, I hope that somewhere down the road an opportunity for more public service may be available,” he said. 

Marx’s decision not to run means that the GOP primary will be between Reeves and Rep. Robert Foster from DeSoto County. On the Democratic side, current Attorney General Jim Hood and former JSU employee and Army veteran Velesha Williams are the announced candidates. 

The candidates will face off in an August primary ahead of November’s election. 

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