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Republican Tate Reeves wins reelection for governor in Mississippi

Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves greets supporters before addressing them at his gubernatorial reelection watch party in Flowood, Miss., on Tuesday.
Rogelio V. Solis
/
AP
Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves greets supporters before addressing them at his gubernatorial reelection watch party in Flowood, Miss., on Tuesday.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, has won reelection, according to the Associated Press.

Reeves had deep advantages as the incumbent candidate. He's a staple in Mississippi politics and is known as one of the best fundraisers in state history. His fifth term in statewide office has been defined by a supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature and all statewide offices.

Reeves squared off against Brandon Presley, a Democrat and one of the state's three public service commissioners, in a race that was more competitive than state Republicans anticipated.

Presley – a cousin of the rock and roll legend Elvis – campaigned in all of the state's 82 counties. He criticized Reeves for refusing to expand Medicaid, which Presley argued puts dozens of rural hospitals at risk of closure and leaves 300,000 Mississippians without health care.

Presley received a $7 million cash infusion from the National Democratic Governors Association to boost his campaign. Even so, it was an uphill climb.

Left: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves delivers his State of the State address outside the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 25, 2022. Right: Mississippi Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley speaks to reporters during a campaign stop on Nov. 6, 2023 in Jackson, Miss.
/ Rogelio V. Solis/AP; Brandon Bell/Getty Images
/
Rogelio V. Solis/AP; Brandon Bell/Getty Images
Left: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves delivers his State of the State address outside the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson, Miss., in January 2022. Right: Mississippi Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley speaks to reporters during a campaign stop Monday in Jackson, Miss.

"It's still a tough task in a state as red as Mississippi — unseating any incumbent governor is very hard, actually," Jessica Taylor of the Cook Political Report told NPR.

Reeves, who received an endorsement last week from former President Trump, said Presley was in the pockets of national Democrats and wasn't right for Mississippi.

"They don't just want to change governors — they want to change Mississippi," Reeves told voters.

No Democrat has won the Mississippi governor's race in more than 20 years.

Copyright 2023 Mississippi Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Michael McEwen
Will Stribling

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