On Wednesday, Democratic candidate for Governor Jim Hood, and the two Republican candidates who will face a run-off at the end of the month, Tate Reeves and Bill Waller, spoke out on the remaining days in the campaign trail.
Waller told the press he was “very pleased” with the election results from last night.
“If you consider my 5-month foray into this campaign and the fact that the leading candidate spent four and a half times more than I did and his name and identification was already seventy percent before the election I would say we have an excellent chance,” said Waller. “I feel very very good about it.”
He reiterated the clear differences between him and Reeves. Waller said he does not believe things are ‘fine’ with education, and pay changes need to be made as soon as possible. Mississippi’s economy needs to grow, and there need to be major changes to how healthcare is handled across the state in order to save the small town hospitals that are at risk of closing.
Waller said he is not worried that his opponent has raised so much more many than he has. He believes the facts will stand for themselves when voters head to the polls. He said since election night, they have received nearly $20,000 in small contributions for the campaign, leading him to believe that people are excited for a chance at change.
“I am very encouraged by the results from yesterdays election. Honestly, yesterday was a great day for Republicans and quite frankly was not a very good day for the Democrats,” said Reeves. He was referencing record-breaking Republican primary turnout. There were over 300,000 voters turn out in that primary.
Reeves congratulated Rep. Robert Foster on the race that he ran in this election, even saying some of his ideas like the tax proposal were solid.
He said that this runoff and election is not about him, even though it is his name on the ballot. He believes this race is about continuing the conservative mindset in the state of Mississippi. He said his opponent in the runoff, Bill Waller is not a conservative.
“He says we need a progressive approach, much like what the Democrats say,” said Reeves.
He said if elected he will fight for the Conservative mindset, like keeping taxes low and preventing the expansion of Obamacare.
“If you want a conservative that will stand up and fight for Mississippi values than the only choice you have left in the governor’s race is Tate Reeves,” said Reeves.
Reeves campaign took over 72 of Mississippi’s counties in the primary election last night. Securing about 49% of the vote, just shy of the 50% it would take to avoid the runoff.
The day after the Primary, Hood spent time at a public school in Jackson to talk about the teacher needs the state faces. Hood does not face a runoff and will head straight to the November ballot.
Hood said if elected the first thing he will do in January through the Legislature is fully fund pre-k, 4-k education and have a statewide program. He said this is about a $31 million investment. He calls this a ‘patchwork’ of what is already in place.
“The teachers may not have been consolidated, but when they offered that $1,500 raise I think it was a slap in the face,” said Hood. He believes upset teachers will end up making an impact in which way the election in November goes.
When it comes to making Community College free, Hood says it’s only a $6 to $8 million investment without making the counties to pay for it. He plans to make this a reality to Mississippians seeking higher education in the state.
When asked about what his stance would be on immigration issues as Governor he said that position doesn’t have much to do with how that is handled, and for those who speak out about it it is more about partisan politics.