In a short 166 weeks Mississippi will elect our next governor. The unofficial public kick-off for the 2019 gubernatorial campaign may have been July 27, 2016 at the Neshoba County Fair. Republicans expect Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves to make a run for the top office. Democrats hope Attorney General Jim Hood does the same. Reeves forecast the campaign in his Wednesday Neshoba speech, “This is my fourteenth year on this podium but, more importantly in this Presidential election year, this is my second day in a row to be at the Fair. You see, yesterday, [Hood] and his friends were in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while I was here in Philadelphia, Mississippi. He was working to make Hillary Clinton President while I was here working against Hillary Clinton.” Reeves criticized Hood’s positions on the state budget and religious liberty and said, “He sounds to me like he’s auditioning to be Hillary’s attorney general.”
Voters first elected both Reeves and Hood to statewide office in 2003. Not counting Governor Phil Bryant who cannot seek a third term as governor (and not counting federal officials), Reeves and Hood are their respective party’s senior statewide elected officials. Hood is the only statewide elected Democrat….
…Republicans prepped for Hood to run for governor in 2011 and 2015, but 2019 might be the year he finally makes the decision to run. He appeared to toy with the idea of not seeking reelection last year but told the Clarion Ledger he wanted to finish his litigation involving Internet giant Google. And Reeves maintains a reputation of playing his cards close to his chest and has made no public proclamation, either.
Plus a lot can happen in three years. Following the presidential, congressional and judicial elections this November, Mississippi holds municipal elections next year. There are more judicial, congressional and a U.S. Senate election in 2018. But we’ll keep our eyes open for Reeves and Hood in 2019.