Mississippi 2019 Elections | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Mississippi 2019 Elections

Read stories about Mississippi's upcoming 2019 election, including the gubernatorial election.

Politics

Waller Says Yes to Equal Pay, No on LGBT Hate Crimes Law

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In a series of campaign stops for the Republican runoff for governor on Tuesday, former Mississippi Chief Justice Bill Waller reiterated his views on health care and education, while also sharing his thoughts on equal pay for women and LGBT hate crimes.

Politics

GOP Insider: Foster to Endorse Ex-Opponent Waller in Runoff for Primary Nod for Gov

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Mississippi House Rep. Robert Foster plans to endorse former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller in the Republican runoff for governor, a GOP insider told the Jackson Free Press on Sunday evening.

Immigration

Elected Officials, Advocacy Groups, Others Address Mississippi ICE Raids

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Since ICE and U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst's office yesterday raided workplaces across Mississippi, arresting 680 people and leaving many children stranded, we have received or spotted another of responses to the roundups on social media. Here is a growing list.

Politics

In Gov Race, Dem Hood Vows to 'Expose Corruption,' Reeves in Runoff with Waller

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With a hug from former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood stepped up to a microphone and proclaimed victory in his quest for the Democratic nomination for governor last night.

Politics

Hood Wins Dem Nod for Mississippi Governor; GOP Runoff Ahead

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Fourth-term Attorney General Jim Hood beat seven rivals to become the Democratic nominee for Mississippi governor, while on the Republican side, second-term Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves faces a runoff in three weeks against former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr.

Health Care

Wealthy Doctors' PAC, 'I.V. League' Help Tate Reeves Lead in Campaign Donations

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The Mississippi Medical Political Action Committee donated $20,000 to Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who is the only candidate in the governor's race who does not support some form of Medicaid expansion.

Immigration

Michael Watson Wants to Flag Citizen Status When Voters Register

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If elected, Mississippi Sen. Michael Watson wants to use the secretary of state's office to run background checks on people when they register to vote—and flag people who may not be in the country legally.

Politics

OPINION: Reeves Is the Wrong Choice

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Normally, I don't like to be wrong. But I wouldn't mind being wrong about next Tuesday's Republican gubernatorial primary. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is probably going to win the primary and the general election in November. That's too bad.

Development

Hood Calls Tech, Women's Opportunities 'The Hope for Our Future'

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Right now, though, just over 30% of the state does not have access to high-speed broadband service at all and remains limited to relying on slower options, like dial-up, to connect to the internet. It's worse in rural areas and small towns.

Politics

GOP Gov Hopefuls: Expand Medicaid to Help ‘Working’ People; Reeves Abstains

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A mostly white and conservative crowd at the Neshoba County Fair roared approval on Thursday as Republican candidates for governor pledged to bring the final piece of former President Barack Obama’s health-care law to Mississippi: Medicaid expansion.

Politics

Candidate Questionnaire: Jennifer Riley Collins (Attorney General)

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The Jackson Free Press emailed questionnaires to each candidate in the state attorney general race. The answers are the candidates' verbatim responses, with no edits whatsoever.

Cover

Vying for Mississippi Governor: The Issues Post-GOP Debate and Beyond

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Find out where top candidates in the race for governor stand on issues like Medicaid expansion, private school vouchers, teacher pay, mental health, abortion rights, and more.

Cover

GOP AG’s Race: A ‘Crusade’ Against Drugs

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Mississippi Rep. Mark Baker, R-Brandon, is running on a “tough on crime” approach to drugs. Andy Taggart has a more balanced platform.

Politics

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Billy Graham, Primary Coverage and JFP VIPs

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"If a male politician elects to follow the "Billy Graham Rule," it really is incumbent upon him to make the accommodations necessary to meet with women—reporters, constituents, policy advisers and advocates."

Politics

Mayor Endorses Williams for Senate, Shaun King Backs DA Hopeful Owens

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Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba endorsed Marcus Williams, a candidate for Mississippi Senate District 26 and former president of the Young Democrats of Mississippi, during a press conference at the Capitol this morning.

Politics

Candidate Questionnaire: Delbert Hosemann (Lt. Governor)

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The Jackson Free Press emailed questionnaires to each candidate in the lieutenant governor's race. The answers are the candidates' verbatim responses, with no edits whatsoever.

Politics

Candidate Questionnaire: Jay Hughes (Lt. Governor)

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The Jackson Free Press emailed questionnaires to each candidate in the lieutenant governor's race. The answers are the candidates' verbatim responses, with no edits whatsoever.

Gender

Hood: Governors Can’t Do Their Job and Follow the ‘Billy Graham Rule’

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Republican candidates who say they cannot be alone with women who are not their wives are “ridiculous,” Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said in a fundraising email sent to supporters on Thursday.

City & County

What Mississippi Voters Want

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We asked Mississippi voters which issues they want candidates to talk about. From potholes, to poverty, to higher teacher pay and help with college, here’s what they told us.

Politics

Candidate Backtracks After Saying Office is 'A Man's Job'

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Malcolm Johnson, a Democratic man running for office in Mississippi, says he wasn't criticizing all women—just one—when he said being county supervisor is "a man's job."

Politics

Black Woman Accuses Dem Leader of Ignoring Her Governor Run

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Velesha P. Williams, an African American woman from Jackson who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor of Mississippi, says party Chairman Bobby Moak will not "respect or acknowledge" her candidacy.

Development

Reeves' 'Ready to Work' Plan Caps Tuition for Some, Adds K-12 Coding

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In front of a crowd of enthusiastic college educators, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves announced his plan to make Mississippi a "Ready to Work" state.

Education

Candidates: Mississippi Should Focus on Vocational Education

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Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday that he's proposing the state spend $100 million to try to improve job skills. Reeves said the single largest expense would be $75 million to community colleges for workforce training.

Politics

Mississippi: Election Lawsuit is Not About Voting Rights

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Attorneys defending Mississippi say a lawsuit that challenges the state's system of choosing a governor is about "partisan politics," not about protecting African Americans' voting rights.

Politics

Opinion: Men, Punishing Women and Reporters for #MeToo is Not the Answer

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Rep. Robert Foster says he denied a woman reporter equal access to his campaign because he does not want people to think he's having an affair. Many of his supporters, though, think it's about striking back at #MeToo.

Politics

OPINION: Tuning in to Tate Television

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"(Tate) Reeves is dead-set against insuring uninsured Mississippians. Why is he opposed to 'Obamacare expansion?' Lately, Reeves won't give a reason. He's just against it."

Politics

Foster Cites 'Billy Graham Rule' to Deny Woman Reporter Access

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Robert Foster, a Republican candidate for Mississippi governor, says he would not let a woman journalist follow him while campaigning unless she was accompanied by a male colleague.

Education

Private School Vouchers Split Mississippi Candidates for Governor

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Several candidates for Mississippi governor have answered a questionnaire from a public education advocacy group called The Parents' Campaign, but Republican Tate Reeves has not.

City & County

Lumumba Endorses Jody Owens for Hinds District Attorney

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Jody Owens has "demonstrated a commitment" to making Jackson better, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said during a live WMPR 90.1 radio broadcast of Coffee and Conversations with Wanda Evers on Wednesday, endorsing him in the race for Hinds County district attorney.

Politics

ACLU Leader Steps Down to Focus on Attorney General Race

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Jennifer Riley Collins, the Democratic candidate in Mississippi's race for attorney general, is now a full-time campaigner after she stepped down from her role as head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi.

Politics

Jody Owens Nets Endorsements for District Attorney: 'A System Changer'

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At a Monday press conference, legislators, community organizers and elected officials held campaign signs as they filled the steps behind Jody Owens in support of his bid to become the next district Hinds County district attorney.

Abortion

Hood to Appeal Fetal 'Heartbeat' Law Ruling, Citing 'Duty'

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On Friday, State Attorney General Jim Hood will appeal U.S. District Court Judge Carlton W. Reeves ruling that struck down Mississippi's recently passed fetal "heartbeat" law to a higher court, Hood announced late Thursday afternoon.

Business

Reeves' Kemper Bill Let Mississippi Power Shift $1 Billion to Customers

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Mississippi Power's gambit to build a first-of-its kind "clean coal" plant in one of the poorest counties in Mississippi failed, but not before state ratepayers helped finance its construction to the tune of billions with the permission of state leaders, including Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.

Politics

OPINION: Mississippi's New Governor—The Time for Change is Now!

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Every state in the union has done the right and humane thing of removing the Confederate symbol from their flags. Mississippi stands alone, steeped in injustice and fear.

Politics

Republican Reeves Holds $6.3M in Mississippi Governor's Race

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Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has five times as much cash to spend in the final five months of the governor's race as his best-financed opponent, and he's already spending at a rapid clip.

Politics

A Look at Mississippi Candidates' Campaign Finance Filings

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Mississippi candidates had a Monday deadline to file campaign finance reports to show how much money they had raised and spent through the end of May. This is a brief look at reports for top offices.

Politics

AG Candidates Praise 'Heartbeat Bill,' Anti-LGBT Laws, Tort Reform

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About 50 people showed up at a venue that would seat 1,200 on Wednesday night to hear Republican candidates explain why voters should elect them as Mississippi's next attorney general—the state's chief legal officer who holds the power to bring or defend against lawsuits on behalf of the state.

Politics

Taggart 'Disappointed' That Fitch Plans to Skip AG Debates

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Republican candidate for Mississippi attorney general Andy Taggart criticized one of his opponents, State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, in an open letter on Monday because she does not plan to attend two debates later this week.

Cover

The Unwritten Story: The JFP Interview with Governor Hopeful Velesha P. Williams

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For two hours, Velesha P. Williams shared her vision for moving Mississippi forward, and how she, a former U.S. Army officer who also spent years working at Jackson State University, plans to make it happen.

Politics

Voter Reform Urgent, Local Women’s Group Says

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People filled every seat in Refill Cafe on May 17 as Willie Jones, president of Women for Progress, held an open forum to discuss solutions to combat voter apathy and reform the voting process in Mississippi.

Health Care

Mississippi Group Floats 'Medicaid Reform' Plan to Woo Republicans

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The Mississippi Hospital Association unveiled a proposal called "Mississippi Cares" that, like Medicaid expansion, would insure around 300,000 more adults in the state, ages 19-64 who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level.

Politics

Mississippi Candidates Raise Millions in Race for Governor

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Mississippi candidates vying to become the state's next governor raised millions of dollars in the first political fundraising quarter.

Business

Mississippians See Growth on Amazon, But Politicians Misstate Report

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Amazon reported in a May 1 press statement that Mississippi retailers boasted the fastest year-over-year growth among Amazon retailers. State leaders seized on the news but misstated the case.

Politics

Waller Exceeds Fundraising Expectations in GOP Race

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Republican Bill Waller raised more than half a million dollars in his first two months in the race for governor, his campaign announced in a press release on Tuesday.

Personhood

Democrats, Activists 'Infuriated' as Hood Defends Six-Week Abortion Ban

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Abortion-rights activists and some Democratic leaders are unhappy with Mississippi's leading Democratic candidate for governor, state Attorney General Jim Hood, after his office filed a brief in defense of the state's new six-week abortion ban.

Politics

Reeves Falsely Claims Hood Will Let 'Terrorists and Rapists' Vote

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Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican candidate for governor this year, misled voters on Tuesday when he claimed that state Attorney General Jim Hood would allow "terrorists and rapists" to vote from prison if elected.

Civil Rights

Hood Takes Heat for Blackface Photos, Says Leave Trans Rights Up to Schools

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A Hattiesburg woman confronted Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood on Tuesday over yearbook photos from the 1980s that show members of his college fraternity wearing blackface.

Personhood

Mississippi AG Candidate Vows to Defend Six-Week Abortion Ban

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State Rep. Mark Baker, a Republican candidate for Mississippi attorney general, is pledging to take the state's recently passed abortion ban all the way to the Supreme Court.

Civil Rights

AG Candidate Vows to Defend State Funding for Anti-LGBT Adoption Agencies

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If Mississippians make state Rep. Mark Baker their next attorney general, he vows to fight so that religiously affiliated adoption agencies that accept state funds can continue to legally discriminate against LGBT families.

Civil Rights

Voting Rights Act Denied Mississippi Its 'Sovereignty,' AG Candidate Says

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At a Tupelo campaign stop on Monday, Mississippi State Rep. Mark Baker, a Republican candidate for attorney general, said the 1965 Voting Rights Act violated Mississippi's "sovereignty."

Politics

Reeves Vows Culture War Against ‘Liberals’ in Campaign for Governor

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Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves set the tone in his race for Mississippi governor Monday evening, telling supporters at a campaign event: "The radical liberals have taken aim at Mississippi's culture and Mississippi's values."

Politics

Reeves Skipping First Debate for Governor Despite Early End to Session

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Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican candidate for governor, will be a no-show at the party's first primary debate on Tuesday night.

Cover

‘Why Can’t I Break That Barrier?’: The JFP Interview with AG Hopeful Jennifer Riley Collins

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During our afternoon interview with Jennifer Riley Collins in downtown Jackson, she explained why she believes she is up to the momentous task of becoming the first African American woman ever to win a statewide office, and what she believes she can bring to the attorney general's office.

Politics

Mississippi Holds Special Elections for Three House Seats Today

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Mississippi voters in three state House districts head to the polls today to elect new representatives to fill vacant seats.

Politics

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves' 2003 Victory over Gary Anderson 'All About Race,' Critics Say

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In his successful 2003 bid for state treasurer, critics accused current-Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves of running ads designed to remind voters that his Democratic opponent, Gary Anderson was black. Reeves denied the allegations.

Personhood

OPINION: Jay Hughes and the Apostasy of ‘White Democrats’ in Mississippi

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Not content with the number of obstacles currently in a pregnant woman's path to accessing safe abortion care, our state government has continued its efforts to erode Roe v. Wade. Gov. Phil Bryant has repeatedly said that he wants “Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child”—even, apparently, if that entails making Mississippi the least safe place for mothers and born children.

Politics

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith Plans 2020 Kickoff With High-Dollar Donors

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Just months after winning the most closely contested U.S. Senate race in Mississippi since the 1980s, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith plans to kick off her 2020 re-election bid next month with a high-dollar fundraiser in Washington, D.C.

Politics

Democratic House Leader David Baria Won’t Seek Re-Election

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Mississippi House Minority Leader David Baria will not seek re-election to his seat, the Bay St. Louis Democrat announced unexpectedly in a letter to supporters Friday afternoon.

Cover

Beyond Angry Tweets: Robert Foster on Why He is Running for Governor

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Mississippi House Rep. Robert Foster is running for governor in the Republican primary, running against current Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican from Florence, Miss., among others.

Politics

Sam Britton Announces Secretary of State Run, Pledges Loyalty to Trump

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Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Sam Britton promised to "get government out of our lives" on Monday as he launched a bid to become Mississippi's next secretary of state.

City & County

Ronnie Crudup Jr. Running for Adrienne Wooten's Vacated House Seat

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South Jackson and community activist Ronnie Crudup Jr. is running to be the next representative of District 71, the Mississippi House of Representatives seat Adrienne Wooten vacated to join the judiciary.

Politics

Lt. Gov. Reeves: No to Medicaid Expansion, Despite Strong Citizen Support

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After weeks of speculation that Mississippi's Republican leadership might support expanding Medicaid in the state, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves slammed the door shut on Monday.

Politics

Mississippi Treasurer Fitch Running for Attorney General

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Republican Lynn Fitch of Ridgeland, Mississippi's second-term state treasurer, says she is running for attorney general because she wants to protect gun rights, fight opioid abuse and crack down on human trafficking.

Politics

Juan Cloy Announces His Candidacy for Hinds County Sheriff

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Former Canton Assistant Police Chief Juan Cloy has formally declared his candidacy for Hinds County Sheriff.

Health Care

Republican Candidates 'Looking at' Medicaid Expansion, Other States

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At least two Republican candidates for statewide office in Mississippi are voicing support for Medicaid expansion—a policy state GOP leadership has long resisted.

Politics

Hosemann Should 'Resign' His Office, Democratic Opponent Demands

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One of Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's potential opponents is calling on him to resign his office while he runs for lieutenant governor.

Politics

Delbert Hosemann Running for Lt. Gov: 'I'm Here to Apply for the Job'

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Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is running for lieutenant governor, he announced Wednesday morning.

Cover

Election-Year Lawmaking: What Will Happen?

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Democratic Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood had stood discussed Mississippi's dismal national rankings in things like health care, poverty and education. Republicans such as Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Hood said, would try to tell voters everything was just fine.

Health Care

GOP Gov. Candidate Foster Pushes a Type of Medicaid Expansion

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First-term state Rep. Robert Foster of Hernando says Tuesday he thinks working people added to Medicaid should be required to pay something for coverage. Mississippi would need federal permission for such a system.

Politics

Foster Claims 'Third Party' Offered $1 Million to Exit Governor's Race

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A third party offered to help Mississippi State Rep. Robert Foster, R-Hernando, secure $1 million in fundraising if he would drop out of the race for governor, the GOP candidate claimed in an interview with the Jackson Free Press Thursday.

Politics

Hard-right Conservative 'Farmer Bob' to Announce Run for Governor

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Freshman State Rep. Robert Foster will announce a bid for the Republican nomination to be Mississippi's next governor tomorrow in his hometown of Hernando.

Politics

Jackson Woman Joins Dem Race for Governor; State Rep Exploring GOP Race

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Next week, Velesha P. Williams plans to officially join the race to become the Democratic Party's gubernatorial nominee, she announced in a Nov. 29 press release.

Politics

McDaniel v. Hood? State Senator to 'Pray About' Run for Governor

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Just days after his hopes of becoming a U.S. senator were dashed for the second time in four years, Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, signaled interest in a possible run for governor next year.

Politics

Hood Announces Run: 'Jesus Taught Us to Fight for the Poor'

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Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced his run for governor on Oct. 3 in Houston, Miss.

Politics

Amid Positive Polls, Jim Hood to Announce Run for Mississippi Governor

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Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood will kick off a campaign for governor on Wednesday, Oct. 3, he announced in a statement on Monday, Oct. 1.

Politics

Delbert Hosemann Will Seek Higher Office; Not Running for Re-election

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Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann drew boos from a crowd of supporters on Wednesday at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., when he announced he would not run for for re-election, but he quickly calmed them by teasing another possibility.

Politics

2019 State Races Shaping Up; Hood Has Edge Over Reeves for Governor

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Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Attorney General Jim Hood are the obvious candidates expected to face off in the 2019 gubernatorial election if both make it past the party primaries, although neither one has officially declared his intention to run for the office.

Politics

Petal Mayor Marx Says He's Running for Mississippi Governor

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A Republican mayor from south Mississippi said Thursday that he is running for governor next year, even though he expects to be widely outspent by other candidates.

Person of the Day

State Rep. Hughes Running for Lieutenant Governor in 2019

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First-term Democratic state Rep. Jay Hughes of Oxford announced last week that he is running for Mississippi lieutenant governor in 2019, saying the state needs to improve public education, highways and mental health services and create a lottery.