Tate Reeves builds large warchest, mulls 2011 elections

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Treasurer Tate Reeves has the biggest campaign fund of any current statewide elected official, but he said he hasn’t decided what office he’ll seek in 2011.

Finance records filed Friday in the secretary of state’s office show that Reeves, a Republican, ended 2009 with nearly $1.2 million campaign cash on hand.
Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, who’s expected to run for governor, reported $619,092 cash on hand.

“I will admit I’m receiving a lot of encouragement to run for governor, to run for other offices,” Reeves said in a telephone interview Friday night.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, who can’t run again in 2011, reported $77,081 cash on hand in his political action committee, called Haley’s PAC.

Barbour reported donations to Democratic candidates who ran for mayor in two Mississippi cities in 2009. The PAC gave $15,000 to state Sen. John Horhn, who ran unsuccessfully in Jackson; and $1,000 to Clarksdale Mayor Henry Espy, who was re-elected. The governor’s PAC also gave to Republican mayoral candidates in 2009, including $1,000 each to Cheri Barry of Meridian, Jack Reed Jr. of Tupelo, and George Schloegel of Gulfport, who won races in their cities.

Other cash-on-hand totals reported by campaigns:

— Senate President Pro Tempore Billy Hewes, a Republican who has publicly said he’s running for lieutenant governor, $670,230. “The broad base of folks from across Mississippi stepping forward to support my candidacy for lieutenant governor is proof that Mississippians want to keep experienced conservative leadership in place at their Capitol,” Hewes said in a news release Friday.

— Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican who has not announced his 2011 intentions, $315,822.

— State Auditor Stacey Pickering, a Republican has said he’s considering a run for lieutenant governor, $62,186.

— Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, a Republican who has said he’s seeking re-election, $54,907.

— Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell, a Republican who has not announced his 2011 intentions, $1,289.