“I’m a Baptist. You know us Baptists don’t believe in gambling. We don’t believe in drinking or dancing, not in public anyway,” Hood quipped last week to the Neshoba County Fair crowd at the annual political speakings.
“But I have to be a realist. The Legislature is not passing any revenue (tax increase.) That (lottery revenue) is money available for education – should be spent on education.”
Hood, Mississippi’s only statewide elected Democrat, also was the only officeholder who spoke at the fair to tout a lottery.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, facing questions from reporters after his speech, expressed the same reservations he has voiced before about enacting a lottery in Mississippi, but concluded, he was “willing to consider it.”
Mississippi is one of six states nationwide without a lottery, but momentum appears to be growing for enacting one here. Gov. Phil Bryant, once a staunch opponent of the lottery, has voiced support in recent months, even touting it in January in his state of the state speech.