Gubernatorial candidates press the flesh, campaigns and PACs drop late cycle ad buys, and more notes from the campaign trail this week.
With less than two weeks to go before the November 7th General Election, here’s a recap of the latest happenings on the campaign trail as Mississippi voters prepare to cast their ballots.
Reeves, Presley press the flesh down the stretch
Incumbent Republican Governor Tate Reeves and his Democratic challenger Brandon Presley have been canvassing the state from top to bottom ahead of the General Election.
On Tuesday, the two spoke at the Mississippi Economic Council’s HobNob event in Jackson, sharing different visions for the state under their leadership. The two largely stayed on script and spoke on issues they have been touting during the 2023 election cycle.
By that evening, Reeves was up in Oxford for the 30th annual “Good Ole Boys and Gals” gathering while Presley was on the Coast meeting with supporters.
Earlier in the week, Democratic nominee Presley was in Meridian, Tupelo, Oxford and Jackson, and is expected in Columbus today while Governor Reeves was in Madison, Charleston, Shuqualak, DeSoto County, and Rankin County, among other locales.
Hosemann back on the bench with new TV spot
Incumbent Republican Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann is back on the iconic bench for a new 30-second TV spot ahead of the General Election where he will face D. Ryan Grover, the Democratic nominee.
“Our economy is thriving and I’m proud of our progress,” Hosemann says in the commercial. “Now, I’m asking you to rehire me as your Lt. Governor… Because I promise, we’re not done yet.”
Hosemann was elected as Lt. Governor in 2019 with more than 60 percent of the vote. He won the Republican Primary this cycle over three other candidates, including State Senator Chris McDaniel.
Hosemann’s campaign says he is focused on securing Mississippi’s elections, lowering taxes on working people, addressing crime, investing in infrastructure, ensuring healthcare is accessible, growing our economy, and improving educational opportunities for children in our state.
Pinkins endorsed by Democratic Association of Secretaries of State
Ty Pinkins, the Democratic nominee for Mississippi Secretary of State, picked up the endorsement of The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State (DASS) this week. DASS is a 527-member political committee that prides itself as the last line of defense in the protection of democracy and the will of the voters – and elected Democrats to Secretary of State offices across the country.
Pinkins became the Democratic nominee in the race after Shuwaski Young withdrew due to health reasons. The Mississippi Democratic Party named Pinkins as their substitute candidate. He is also currently running for U.S. Senate in the 2024 election cycle.
If elected, Pinkins’ campaign says his vision is to fight for issues surrounding the lack of an online voter registration system in Mississippi, no excuse – early voting, same-day voter registration, and absentee voting for any reason. He also wants to see the ballot initiative process reinstated and supports the overturning of Mississippi’s felony disenfranchisement law.
“The support of DASS is imperative to the success of any Secretary of State office. This organization champion causes around voter registration, expanding voting access administratively, maintaining voter rolls, and administering elections; all of which our campaign aspires to improve in our state,” Pinkins said in a statement. “To have their support and guidance is an honor and is greatly appreciated.”
Pinkins faces an uphill battle in his attempt to unseat first-term incumbent Republican Secretary of State Michael Watson in the General Election.
EDF Action Votes, a defender of climate champions, launches ad campaign supporting Bailey
Last week, EDF Action Votes launched a $250,000 ad campaign titled Can’t Afford” in the Central District Public Service Commission race supporting Brent Bailey’s re-election. The campaign features an ad running on broadcast and cable TV in the metro area media markets for the final three weeks of the election.
The campaign supports Commissioner Bailey, the incumbent Republican, who they say has been a champion for affordable energy and strong utility oversight.
EDF Action Votes is an independent expenditure-only political committee that works to defend climate champions and defeat those that would stand in the way of progress on a cleaner, healthier future. It promotes the goals of Environmental Defense Action Fund
Bailey will face Democrat De’Keither Stamps on the General Election ballot. It is a rematch of four years ago when Bailey narrowly defeated the now State Representative.
Democratic AG nominee to speak in Oxford
The Democratic nominee for Mississippi Attorney General Greta Kemp Martin is slated to speak in Oxford on Friday at the Ole Miss School of Law.
The event is hosted by the Lafayette County Democratic Party along with Cliff Johnson of the McArthur Justice Center, Sarah Schnaithman of the Trans Program, the University of Mississippi ACLU Chapter and others.
The event is free and open to the public.
Martin will face incumbent Republican Attorney General Lynn Fitch in the General Election on November 7th.
Auditor White proposes workforce tax credit
On Wednesday, incumbent Republican State Auditor Shad White took to social media to offer a suggested path to improving Mississippi’s labor force participation rate.
White, who faces Democratic nominee Larry Bradford in the General Election, called attention to the state’s record low unemployment, calling it an incredible achievement for our state, policymakers, employers, and for working people who show up every day.
“There’s no doubt Mississippi is open for business. So what’s the next step? How can we make our economy even stronger?” White asked, adding, “The short answer is, we need more of our able-bodied adults off the couch and into the workforce. Mississippi has a smaller percentage of our adults in the workforce than every state except West Virginia. That means these folks aren’t even looking for work.”
White said one way to encourage people to get into the workforce is by giving a tax credit to people who join the workforce.
“Labor force studies have shown this to be very effective. It’s far smarter than paying people welfare who don’t work,” the first term Auditor said. “After my office uncovered the large welfare fraud scandal in 2020, our state has slowly built a surplus of federal welfare funds. Those funds could be used to finance this tax credit. Going forward, we need to start putting ideas on the table to get people into our labor force, not pay them to sit on the sidelines.”
White said if the state does that, businesses and paychecks will grow.
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