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Independent Mississippi Governor Candidate Withdraws, Endorses Democrat Presley

Gwendolyn Gray, an independent candidate for Mississippi governor, is withdrawing from the governor’s race, she announced Monday while endorsing Democrat Brandon Presley’s effort to unseat incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves. Her name will still appear on the ballot, however.

“I am proud to endorse Brandon Presley because he will be a governor who takes action for our people—including making sure our families have access to affordable health care by expanding Medicaid on day one, making sure government is in the hands of the people, and investing in public education so we can create opportunities here at home,” Gray said in a Monday press release from Presley’s campaign.

She did not explain why she was withdrawing. Absentee voting began on Sept. 25 and her name is on those ballots and will also appear when residents cast votes in-person on Nov. 7, the Mississippi secretary of state’s office confirmed. “(Gray) emailed our office about her intent to withdraw, but it’s not official,” Mississippi Secretary of State spokesperson Liz Jonson told the Mississippi Free Press. “Her name will be on the ballot due to the timing, regardless of whether she goes through the official withdrawal process or not.”

Gray’s main policies included reducing gun violence in Mississippi, increasing access to health care, tackling poverty, funding the education system, reducing the prison population and improving infrastructure. 

Her website said she grew up in poverty and “found her calling” through working for Mississippi State University Extension Services and “a local community action agency.” She has worked with Mississippi nonprofits for over 20 years.

Presley thanked Gray for her support and said his campaign is taking “the fight directly to Tate Reeves.”

“I am honored to earn the support of Gwendolyn Gray because our campaign is focused on earning the support of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents who are ready to expand Medicaid on day one, cut the highest tax on food in the country, and clean up corruption once and for all,” Presley said in a Monday press release.

In response to Gray’s withdrawal, Reeves called Gray and Presley “lifelong” and “liberal” Democrats in a Monday

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