Heading into November it will be Tate Reeves’ name on the ballot facing off against Democrat Jim Hood.
— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) August 28, 2019
The runoff election race was called by the Associated Press just after 8:45. Reeves had secured over 55% of the vote, a 10% lead over his opponent Bill Waller Jr.
How they got here:
Reeves took the lead in the Primary winning 49% of the vote, against Waller’s 33%. Third candidate Robert Foster secured roughly 18% of the vote, but was out for the runoff.
Waller and Reeves ran their campaigns from then till now on fundamental policy differences between the two.
Waller was outspoken in his desire to see hospitals improved by expanding Medicaid across the state, citing the plan used by Mike Pence when he was governor of Indiana. Waller also said he does not believe that the lottery bill appropriations will be enough to address the states crumbling infrastructure needs. He has proposed an increased gas tax, and the elimination of the 4% tax bracket.
Reeves is adamantly opposed to any Medicaid expansion, and says it is not good policy for a state like Mississippi. He stands behind the moves that were made during the Legislative session to address infrastructure needs, with the first $80 million made with the state lottery going straight to roads and bridges.
Both agree on continued support of teacher pay, but Waller criticized the $1,500 raise that was appropriated by Legislature in 2019.
After the Primary, Robert Foster, who was no longer in the race, quickly threw his support toward Waller. This brought out several other endorsements for the candidates including one made by Senator Chris McDaniel. McDaniel previously ran for U.S. Senate against Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.
Three weeks ago, we saw that a majority of Mississippians are looking for more than the next-guy-in-line.
Tomorrow, we return to the ballot box to hire the candidate that will stand in the way of Hood turning our state blue.
— Robert Foster (@RobertFoster4MS) August 26, 2019
As the runoff approached Reeves’ campaign slogan became more about voting based on policy, and not the personality of the candidate. He spoke highly of Waller as a person, pointing out the opposition in their platforms and challenged that Waller’s views on policy are not ‘conservative.’
Mississippi is a conservative state. As Governor, I will protect our Mississippi values. I will fight for our priorities. The polls are now open. I hope that I can earn your vote today.
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) August 27, 2019
Following Reeves’ win in the runoff the Republican Governors Association released the following statement.
“Lt. Governor Reeves is a principled, policy-driven conservative leader who is deeply in tune with Mississippi voters and values,” said RGA Chairman Governor Pete Ricketts. “Mississippians know that Tate Reeves will keep his promises and keep moving the state forward. The RGA congratulates Tate on his win tonight, and we’re with him all the way to victory in November.”
“Jim Hood’s longtime record of standing with national Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and his embrace of the radical resistance seeking to stop President Trump’s agenda is proof that he’s been standing with them and not the hardworking people of Mississippi,” said RGA Executive Director Dave Rexrode. “In November, the voters will resoundingly reject his liberal agenda and out-of-touch policies.”