At campaign events and on social media, the three Republican candidates for Mississippi governor — Tate Reeves, Bill Waller Jr. and Robert Foster — have begun shaping their political images ahead of what’s expected to be a competitive primary.
Political observers initially figured Reeves was a shoo-in to win his party’s primary and likely face Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in November’s general election. Reeves is a well-known name as lieutenant governor and has already raised about $7 million.
But experts said the recent entrance of Waller, a former state Supreme Court chief justice whose father was governor in the 1970s, throws that outcome into question.
“Reeves is vulnerable,” Steve Rozman, a Tougaloo College political science professor, said this week. “He doesn’t project a image that is magnetic, that will catch on.”
WLOX – State Auditor report reveals outside-the-classroom spending up, despite fewer teachers and students
If you’ve ever wondered how the money for K-12 schools gets divvied up, this latest State Auditor’s report may surprise you. An analysis of the last decade reveals there are fewer teachers and students in the state. But outside-the-classroom spending has gone up.
“If we had held outside-the-classroom spending the same per student as it was ten years ago, we’d have another $358 million dollars to play with, to spend on whatever we wanted to right now,” said Auditor Shad White.
To put that into perspective, White says that would have been enough for an $11,000 dollar teacher pay raise. He says that if outside-the-classroom spending had just been kept the same as it was ten years ago, and not been cut at the same rate as the decline of students, the state would still have $285 million more each year to spend in the classroom. That would have been enough for a $9,000 teacher pay raise…
…And it’s money that was spent on administrative costs, everything from superintendent and district office spending to non-student transportation and information services.
Parents Campaign, Loome talk issue with Auditor report
Statewide elected officials have distributed yet another hit piece on public ed. Today’s missive misrepresents facts in an apparent attempt to shift the blame for failure to pass a meaningful teacher pay raise. We’re not fooled. See the actual data below. #msleg pic.twitter.com/14BY03Ps8T
— Nancy Loome (@ParentsCampaign) April 17, 2019
Democrat LG candidate Hughes jabs at Auditor report
Shocking – Politically appointed Auditor releases report and blames “Non-Instructional Spending” for lack of teacher pay. Let’s see if this 75th reason will explain the wrong votes on the education pay raise. pic.twitter.com/u1x9cEbebZ
— Jay Hughes (@Jay4Mississippi) April 17, 2019
Vicksburg Mayor Flaggs joins President Trump for Opportunity Zone presser
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) April 17, 2019
Stacey Abrams, a national star in the Democratic Party since narrowly losing her historic bid last fall to become the country’s first black woman governor, will be speaking in Jackson next month.
A Tougaloo College spokesman confirmed Wednesday she will deliver the commencement address May 5.
Abrams, the Democratic leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, is currently mulling a 2020 run for U.S. Senate or president, or another campaign for Georgia governor in 2022.
WLOX – Mississippi residents can display state flag minus Confederate battle emblem with new specialty license plate
Mississippi residents who want a state flag without the Confederate battle emblem now can display one on their license plate.
Gov. Phil Bryant signed a specialty license plates bill Tuesday. One features a proposed state flag designed by Jackson artist Laurin Stennis.
Legislators have not changed the actual flag that’s the last in the U.S. with the Confederate emblem, although some have pushed for the “Stennis flag.”
WJTV – Sen. Wicker to host Prescription Drug Take Back Day event
Teachers on the Coast got a chance to express concerns and suggestions to one of the Republican candidates for governor on Wednesday.
Bill Waller Jr. hosted a teachers’ town hall meeting in Gulfport.
“I’m here to listen, hear their concerns and help shape education policy in the next administration,” said Waller.
Long Beach High School teacher Carrie Bartlett was thankful for the opportunity. She’d like to see less testing and wants to see public officials who put students first.
Wicker looks back at 1979 flood
The #EasterFlood of 1979 was devastating to our state capital and the entire region around Jackson. If this happened again, it would mean at least $1 billion dollars in damage or more. This does not have to happen. pic.twitter.com/W0bjt6XriU
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) April 17, 2019
Congressman Guest talks first 100 days with YP
— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) April 18, 2019
Behind the walls of the Federal Courthouse Building in Hattiesburg, the Honorable Keith Starrett, United States District Judge, looked back at his judicial career spanning 27 years.
“George Washington said, ‘The most important pillar of any democracy is its system of justice,’” Starrett said.
Following more than 10 years of private practice, Starrett was appointed to a seat on the 14th Circuit Court District in 1992 by former Governor Kirk Fordice. In 2005, he was appointed to serve on the federal bench.