In what was a competitive race, incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves held off Democratic challenger Brandon Presley on Tuesday night.
The Reeves campaign informed SuperTalk Mississippi News that Presley had called to concede with Reeves up eight points with over 80 percent of votes counted. Following months of mudslinging from both sides, the GOP governor took some time to commend his opponent on a race well-run.
“Brandon campaigned hard. He went to communities all over this great state,” Reeves told a cheering crowd at the Sheraton Hotel in Flowood. “Now, he and I will always have our differences. I think we made that pretty clear in this campaign, but I want to congratulate him on running hard all the way through.”
Reeves, who received a tactically late endorsement from former President Donald Trump, ran on tangible successes he’s already seen in office such as cutting the state’s income tax and raising teacher pay while vowing not to expand Medicaid – an idea Presley attempted to capitalize on as Mississippi continues to face one of the worst hospital crises in the nation.
A self-proclaimed “numbers guy,” Reeves said after the victory that he plans to continue working toward full income tax elimination while bringing more economic development into the state.
“We’re going to continue to fight to eliminate the state income tax in the state of Mississippi,” Reeves said. “We’re also going to continue to invest in our people, continue to invest in workforce development, continue to bring better and higher-paying jobs as we continue to see billions and billions of dollars in new capital investment right here in the great state of Mississippi.”
Presley, on the other hand, told supporters that he’s proud of the race his team put together as the public service commissioner and former Nettleton mayor managed to stop in all 82 counties in less than a year’s time while calling for ethics reforms, grocery tax cuts, among other policies.
“Tonight’s a setback but we’re not going to lose hope,” Presley said at The Faulkner in downtown Jackson. “We elevated issues that had to be elevated in Mississippi.”
Reeves will be sworn in, along with a slate full of Republican incumbents, on Jan. 4.
Other statewide races called
- Lieutenant Governor: Incumbent Republican Delbert Hosemann defeated Democratic challenger D. Ryan Grover. Hosemann wants to make community college free and find a solution to the state’s ongoing healthcare crisis during his upcoming term.
- Attorney General: Incumbent Republican Lynn Fitch defeated Democratic challenger Greta Kemp Martin. Fitch, key in overturning Roe v. Wade, said she will continue to crack down on sex trafficking and fentanyl distribution while serving as the state’s top legal counsel.
- Secretary of State: Incumbent Republican Michael Watson defeated last-minute Democratic challenger Ty Pinkins. Watson plans to continue educating young people on the voting process while reducing regulations on businesses.
- State Auditor: Incumbent Republican Shad White defeated Democratic challenger Larry Bradford. White vows to continue clawing back misspent taxpayer dollars.
- State Treasurer: Incumbent Republican David McRae defeated Democratic challenger Addie Lee Green. McRae wants to use the next four years to return more unclaimed money while furthering the state’s college savings program.
- Ag Commissioner: Incumbent Republican Andy Gipson defeated Democratic challenger Robert Bradford. Gipson wants to supply solutions to the ongoing drought and its victims while supplying residents with locally grown produce amid record inflation.
- Insurance Commissioner: Incumbent Republican Mike Chaney will continue his reign as the longest-standing elected official in Mississippi, defeating Democratic challenger Bruce Burton. Chaney plans to expand insurance coverage over all major industries while pushing insurance companies to charge low or fair rates to consumers.