Four candidates vie to succeed Phil Bryant (R) as governor of Mississippi

State Attorney General Jim Hood (D), Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R), Bob Hickingbottom (Constitution), and David Singletary (I) are running in next Tuesday’s election for a four-year term as governor of Mississippi. Incumbent Phil Bryant (R) was prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.
 
Hood was first elected state attorney general in 2003. He describes himself as a moderate, saying that he is a firearms owner and that he supports restrictions on abortion. Reeves says that Hood’s claims are not backed by his record in office. Reeves was first elected lieutenant governor in 2011 after serving eight years as state treasurer. He says that he has lowered taxes while decreasing Mississippi’s debt. Hood argues that Reeves’ tax cuts have helped corporations but not individual taxpayers.
 
Both Hood and Reeves have accused one another of ethics violations while in office. Hood says that Reeves supported bills in the state Senate that would benefit his political donors, while Reeves says that Hood contracted state government lawsuits out to private attorneys who donated to his campaign.
 
As of September 30, Reeves had $3.27 million in cash on hand to Hood’s $1.33 million.
 
Three separate race tracking outlets have rated the race Leans Republican.
 
Mississippi is one of 22 Republican state government trifectas, meaning that its governor is a Republican and Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature. If Republicans maintain their legislative majorities in Tuesday’s elections, a victory for Reeves would preserve Mississippi’s Republican trifecta while a victory for one of the other candidates would break it. In order to gain a trifecta, Democrats would need to take the governor’s office and win majorities in both legislative chambers.
 
Candidates running for statewide office in Mississippi must win both a majority of the statewide vote and a majority of the 122 state House districts in order to win election outright. If no candidate does both, the state House votes to decide the winner. A challenge to this provision is currently before a federal district court. Local media sources say the challenge is unlikely to be resolved before the election.
 
 



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David Luchs

David Luchs is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at david.luchs@ballotpedia.org

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