OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Republican Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi has been re-elected, defeating a formidable challenge from Democrat Brandon Presley.
“We all now know what it means in a state like Mississippi when you stand up to the national liberals, when you stand up to Joe Biden,” Reeves told supporters in a victory speech. “They threw everything they had in Mississippi—$13 million they threw in Mississippi. But guess what? Mississippi did not break. Mississippi did not bend. Mississippi is not for sale.”
Former President Donald Trump, who had endorsed Reeves on Nov. 1, offered congratulations on social media.
“Congratulations to @tatereeves on winning Governor of the Great State of Mississippi. Our big Rally on Friday night moved the numbers from a tie to a big WIN. Great reaction under pressure Tate!” Trump wrote.
— Political News (@TDailyNews4) November 8, 2023
Trump endorsed Reeves’ bid for reelection, giving the incumbent governor a needed boost.
In the video, Trump said President Joe Biden is “absolutely destroying our country” and that Presley is Biden’s chosen candidate.
“Joe Biden’s people are funding Brandon Presley’s campaign,” Trump said in the video, which was first reported by Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Will Stribling. “They own him. He’ll do whatever they want him to do. It’s really bad for Mississippi. I’m asking you to make time to vote. You’ve got to vote for Gov. Tate Reeves, and he has my total and complete endorsement.”
“The radical left maniacs who are attacking me are also after him,” he said.
“Donald Trump and the people of Mississippi back our campaign, while Brandon Presley is propped up by out of state money,” Reeves said Wednesday on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, sharing Trump’s endorsement.
In a statement, Presley did not mention the Trump endorsement but expressed his pride in the “coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and independents” who are backing his campaign, which he hopes will win the general election the following week.
“Some of my strongest supporters are Republicans who voted for and donated to Tate Reeves four years ago and now have jumped ship and are supporting me,” Presley said.
According to the Cook Political Report, Reeves was under intense pressure from Presley going into Tuesday night, as the race had changed from likely to lean Republican. In the event that no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the election will proceed to a runoff on November 28.
Based on a Morning Consult poll conducted last week, Reeves, 49, has an approval rating of 46%, making him one of the least popular governors in the nation. He is embroiled in a scandal involving the misappropriation of millions of state welfare funds during his tenure as lieutenant governor.
According to state filings, Presley, 46, has received substantially more contributions than Reeves, bringing in $11.3 million this year as opposed to the Republican’s $6.3 million.
Reeves official website states: “As the 65th Governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves continues to build on his strong record as a conservative leader who fights to guard taxpayers’ dollars, improve educational opportunity, and grow new careers so that our state’s best and brightest can raise their families and thrive here at home. In his inaugural address, Governor Reeves promised that this would be an administration for all Mississippi. He committed to a mission to create a climate where good careers are plentiful with every Mississippian prepared to pursue them, as he has every single day of his time serving our state.”
“Upon taking office, Governor Reeves inherited a crumbling corrections department and a scandal-plagued human services department. He took immediate action to stem the existing issues and begin the process of rebuilding, shedding light on the issues and installing the best leadership to help him turn the departments around to work for the people of Mississippi. While tackling the inherited issues within government agencies to provide for the safety and human dignity of all Mississippians, Governor Reeves simultaneously led our state through historic flooding and tornadoes and a worldwide pandemic—all within his first 100 days in office,” it added.