In what was a bright spot for an otherwise dismal off-year election night for Republicans, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a conservative Republican, managed to pull out a reelection win on Tuesday and get a second term as the state’s governor. Reeves defeated Elvis Presley’s second cousin in the election.
Despite Mississippi generally being regarded as a very conservative state, going deep red in pretty much every election, the race was tighter than comfort would permit for Gov. Reeves. Part of that was likely thanks to the fame of his opponent, Democrat and elected, public utilities commissioner Brandon Presley, second cousin of rock legend Elvis Presley.
But, though it was tight, Gov. Reeves still managed to win reelection. Part of the reason for that victory might have been support from former President Donald Trump. Trump got involved in helping Gov. Reeves secure his victory, telling voters in a telethon call, “They’re trying to get Brandon Pressley into office so they can force their extreme agenda of open borders and gender ideology down the throats of people from Mississippi, and we’re not going to let that happen. Tate Reeves has my complete and total endorsement. This is your chance to send a message to Crooked Joe Biden.”
During the campaign, Gov. Reeves mainly focused on an economic message rather than a culture war message, reminding voters of the economic growth in their state and how his policies have made them better off. He also pointed to Presley’s out of state donors and accused Presley of being a conduit for out of staters who want to change Mississippi.
One of the main debates in the election was, outside of the normal culture war battles, Medicaid expansion. Gov. Reeves has remained a stuanch opponent of expanding the Medicaid rolls, while Presley pushed doing so as being the responsible path forward.
“We’ve turned back billions of dollars in Mississippi. Not because of policy. Only reason we’ve turned down federal dollars for health care in Mississippi is petty, partisan, cheap politics,” said Mr. Presley, during the gubernatorial campaign.
Reeves, for his part, insisted that he has not changed his mind on the matter and thinks expanding the welfare rolls is a bad decision. He said, “I have not changed my position on the expansion of Obamacare. Adding 300,000 additional people to welfare in our state is not the right path for Mississippi.”
At the time he said that, Gov. Reeves signed a number of pro-adoption bills into law, after which Andrea Sanders, director of state Child Protection Services, thanked him, saying, “I would like to thank Gov. Reeves for his constant refrain: Being pro life means more than just being anti-abortion,” Sanders said. “We right now have 3,706 live souls on board, in the custody of the state … This year we have seen an unprecedented, early focus on families and children … the state is prepared to focus on the work that this agency does, which is different from any other in the state.”
Featured image credit: By Brian.S.W – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=133827873
"*" indicates required fields