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HomeTop Global NewsRepublican Gov. Tate Reeves wins re-election in Mississippi

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves wins re-election in Mississippi

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) greets supporters ahead of a football game at Mississippi State University on November 04, 2023 in Starkville, Mississippi.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has won a second term, extending Republicans’ two-decade hold on the governorship by brushing aside a challenge from Democrat Brandon Presley, who conceded the race late Tuesday night.

Reeves built a massive war chest of campaign cash for his re-election, but attacks from Presley and Democrats over health care and a welfare corruption scandal kept the race closer than usual in deep-red Mississippi.

Still, Reeves won a late endorsement from former President Donald Trump to go with heavy support from the Republican Governors Association and Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America’s Candidate Fund. And the Reeves campaign spent almost $10 million on ads promoting his re-election. That was more than enough to secure another win for the Republican in the GOP-friendly state.

In ads funded by the Reeves campaign, the governor attacked Presley over medical care for transgender children and tied Presley to President Joe Biden, who lost Mississippi by more than 16 percentage points in 2020.

Reeves also touted his record managing natural disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic, and his work as a steward of taxpayer dollars. The victory comes 20 years after Reeves first won statewide office, when he became the youngest state treasurer in the country after winning election to that office in 2003.

Still, in the weeks leading up to Election Day, the race tightened in opinion polls and Republican strategists sounded alarm bells as Reeves campaigned across the state.

Reeves’ first term was marked by news of a massive welfare scandal that occurred while he was lieutenant governor, in which state money intended for poor families was directed to other projects instead, like a new college volleyball facility.

Reeves has denied involvement in the alleged corruption, but Presley launched multiple TV attack ads attempting to tie the governor to the scandal. The Democrat also campaigned on support for Medicaid expansion, which Republicans have blocked in Mississippi for more than a decade despite its popularity with voters and the cost strains facing hospitals in the state.

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