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Third-party candidate drops out of Mississippi governor’s race, endorses Presley

The race to become Mississippi’s governor has narrowed with Independent candidate Gwendolyn Gray withdrawing her name on Monday.

Gray announced that she is withdrawing her candidacy from the general election and has turned full support to Democratic challenger Brandon Presley as he continues to campaign against incumbent Republican Tate Reeves.

“I am proud to endorse Brandon Presley because he will be a governor who takes action for our people — including making sure our families have access to affordable healthcare by expanding Medicaid on day one, making sure government is in the hands of the people, and investing in public education so we can create opportunities here at home,” Gray said.

“I trust Brandon Presley because he knows where so many Mississippians are, and he will always fight so people who work for a living can have a chance to reach their fullest potential. I would encourage all of my supporters to vote for Brandon, and I plan to withdraw from the race.”

Gray was running on the platform of improving education, economic opportunity, and social mobility in the state. She called for a larger investment into public schools, job creation, and criminal justice reform.

Presley welcomed Gray’s endorsement, noting that he is seeking the approval of Mississippians from a variety of political views.

“I am honored to earn the support of Gwendolyn Gray because our campaign is focused on earning the support of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents who are ready to expand Medicaid on day one, cut the highest tax on food in the country, and clean up corruption once and for all,” Presley said. “Our campaign is in a strong position to take the fight directly to Tate Reeves, who can’t defend his role in the largest public corruption scandal in state history or how hospitals are on the brink of closure because he failed to act.”

It didn’t take long for Reeves to fire back at Gray’s endorsement of Presley. The incumbent accused Gray of being a Democrat disguised as a third-party option who is now patting the back of a fellow candidate on her side of the aisle.

“I would like to congratulate these lifelong Democrats for coming together and making it clear that there is only one option for conservative leadership in this race,” Reeves said. “All the DNC money flooding into Mississippi to flip this state blue is not going to make a difference because the people of Mississippi believe in conservative values.”

Gray’s announced departure appears to rid any instances of a runoff between Reeves and Presley from occurring. However, the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office confirmed to SuperTalk Mississippi News that Gray will remain on the ballot come November 7 as candidates’ names cannot be removed once the first ballot is printed.

Absentee ballots were made available at circuit clerk’s offices statewide on September 23.

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