Mississippi Republican Governor Tate Reeves Wins Re-Election | JP
Mississippi Republican Governor Tate Reeves fended off a challenge from Democrat Brandon Presley on Tuesday after weeks of media speculation that Democrats might take the governor’s mansion for the first time in 20 years.
Reeves defeated Presley by about 39,000 votes, taking 51.8% of the vote. Presley conceded around 11 p.m. CST on Tuesday.
“This victory belongs to you,” Reeves said on Tuesday. “This victory is more than just who will occupy the governor’s mansion over the next four years. It’s really about the direction that our state will go over the next four years. Mississippi has momentum.”
Republican candidates for Mississippi lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general all won their races with around 60% of the vote.
During the campaign, Reeves tied Presley to President Joe Biden, whose approval rating remains low across the country.
“My opponent has outsourced his entire campaign to the Democratic National Committee,” Reeves said during a debate. “Joe Biden and his buddies have funded his campaign to the tune of 80% of the money that he has raised has come from California, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. It ain’t charity.”
Presley raised about $5 million more than Reeves during the campaign, taking in $11.2 million to Reeve’s $6.2 million.
Presley, a second cousin to musician Elvis Presley and member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission, said that his campaign had left no “stone unturned.”
“This is bigger than one man,” he said. “We can lose this race tonight recognizing good on the other side.”
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During the campaign, Presley pointed to a $77 million welfare scandal in Mississippi where federal money intended for low-income people ended up with people and organizations not qualified to receive the aid. The money was misspent by the state’s Department of Human Services.
In the days leading up to the election, many media outlets speculated that Presley might pull off an upset. For example, Business Insider ran an article titled “How Democrat Brandon Presley could win the Mississippi governor’s race and pull off one of the biggest political upsets of 2023.”
In the end, Reeve’s margin of victory was similar to 2019 when he was first elected governor and won by about 42,000 votes.
Republicans struggled in other high-profile races across the country with Kentucky Democratic Governor Andy Beshear defeating Republican challenger Daniel Cameron, Democrats taking full control of the state legislature in Virginia, and Ohio voters adding abortion to the state constitution.