Brandon Presley – left (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis – Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.) Tate Reeves – right (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis – Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Governor Tate Reeves, the Republican incumbent, maintains a large cash on hand advantage over Democratic gubernatorial nominee Brandon Presley with a month left until the General Election.
The Governor’s race in Mississippi is reaching new heights in spending this election cycle. Between the candidates, nearly $14 million has been spent this calendar year to support gubernatorial campaigns.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Brandon Presley was celebrating on Tuesday, touting a 20-year record breaking fundraising haul for a Democrat in Mississippi. The Presley camp pulled in nearly $4.5 million, according to their recently filed campaign finance report, which pushed their total raised to roughly $7.9 million for the calendar year, a feat no Democratic statewide candidate has achieved since former Governor Ronnie Musgrove raised $7.7 million in 2003 in his failed bid for re-election.
However, while the Presley campaign says their efforts continue “to be fueled by growth in small-dollar donors,” that is not exactly accurate.
Of the $4.5 million raised this reporting period, $2.95 million came from one source – the Democratic Governors Association. Without that large injection, Presley would have raised just over $1.5 million this period, or roughly 33% of what his campaign reported.
In total, the DGA has given Presley over $3.7 million this calendar year. That is close to 47% of Presley’s total funds raised.
Presley also raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars from Washington D.C.-based labor unions and affiliated groups this period, such as the IBEW PAC for $276,000, the National Educators Association Fund for $25,000, the Communication Workers of America for $50,000, Engineers Political Education Committe for $30,000, and Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation PAC for $25,000.
Accounting for these donations and other special interest group donations like them, Presley’s campaign appears to not have been fueled by small dollar donors, as they claim, but rather national Democratic Party aligned out-of-state donations.
As for incumbent Republican Governor Tate Reeves, his campaign brought in just under $1.7 million this period. A majority of Reeves’ reported donations appear to have come from business and industry leaders and associated political action committees within Mississippi.
Notably, despite Presley’s campaign rhetoric decrying the state of the healthcare system, it was Reeves who pulled in significant monetary support from healthcare related groups this period, including the Mississippi Health Care Association PAC for $25,000, Optometry for Progress for $25,000, the Mississippi Dental PAC for $5,000, the Mississippi Association of Nurse Anesthetists PAC for $5,000, and the Mississippi Medical PAC for $25,000, among other healthcare entities and leaders.
Also of note on Reeves’ report – given that his opponent Presley is the sitting Northern District Public Service Commissioner – is the donation from the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi PAC for $50,000. Sitting PSC Commissioners and candidates for the PSC are prohibited from accepting donations from entities the PSC regulates.
Reeves started his 2023 re-election bid with nearly $9 million cash on hand. Despite spending just under $7 million this calendar year, he continues to enjoy over $6 million cash on hand, approximately three and a half times that of Presley. With a month until election day, this sizeable cash advantage could come into play.
Independent candidate Gwendolyn Gray announced this week that she was withdrawing from the race and endorsing Democratic candidate Presley. However, given the timing, her name will still appear on the ballot. No updated campaign finance report was showing on the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website as of the time of publication for this article.
Here is a look at the fundraising and expenditures by the two main campaigns this cycle:
- Raised this period: $1.68 million
- Raised calendar year to date: $5.1 million
- Spent this period: $5.2 million
- Spent calendar year to date: $6.85 million
- Cash on hand: $6.13 million
Brandon Presley – Democrat
- Raised this period: $4.49 million
- Raised calendar year to date: $7.89 million
- Spent this period: $4.21 million
- Spent calendar year to date: $6.79 million
- Cash on hand: $1.83 million
For more information on Mississippi’s latest campaign finance filings, including a review of all statewide and state commission offices on the November 7th General Election ballot, click here.
Read original article by clicking here.