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Republican Tate Reeves Defeats Democrat Brandon Presley for Governor: ‘Victory Sure Is Sweet’

FLOWOOD and JACKSON, Miss.—“Victory sure is sweet,” Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves told a room of supporters at the Sheraton in Flowood, Miss., on Tuesday night as he declared victory over his Democratic opponent, Brandon Presley.

With 96% of ballots counted by noon Wednesday, the incumbent led his opponent 51.6%-47%, the Associated Press reported. Independent candidate Gwendolyn Gray, who asked supporters to vote for Presley in October, netted 1.4% of the vote. The margin is similar to Reeves’ 52.1%-46.6% defeat of Democrat Jim Hood in 2019.

The newly reelected governor reiterated his opposition to allowing young transgender students to play on school sports teams that align with their gender identities—a policy Presley agreed with him on—and warned the room that national Democrats want to change Mississippi.

“In our state, we believe family is everything, we believe work is a good thing, we believe that boys ought to play boys’ sports. I will tell you that the threat to all that we believe is real,” Reeves said with his wife and children by his side.

He said he plans to “get back on the road recruiting even more jobs for the great State of Mississippi” starting Thursday morning and would continue supporting education investments.

“I’m going to keep working to improve our schools, and I believe our kids will continue to do even better because, at the end of the day, we have the best schools in America, and we’re going to continue to fight for our teachers,” the governor said.

He did not mention his longtime support for giving public-education dollars to private schools through tuition vouchers, nor his support for expanding charter schools. While he prioritized those issues during his time as lieutenant governor from 2012 to 2020, he did not campaign on those topics this year.

Reeves Credits Trump’s Support

At his victory party, Gov. Reeves thanked ex-President Donald Trump for his support. The former White House occupant was in New York on Monday for his civil fraud trial but held a telephone rally with Reeves supporters that evening.

Trump, who faces 91 felony criminal charges across four

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