Tonight, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant invoked the names of Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and former Gov. Kirk Fordice in claiming victory as the state's 64th governor.
"If I can see forward it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants," Bryant told supporters on election night at the Jackson Hilton. Bryant, who defeated Johnny DuPree, the Democratic mayor of Hattiesurg, claimed just over 60 percent of votes cast, according to media reports.
Despite defeats for fellow Republican and AG candidate Steve Simpson and the proposed Personhood amendment, the campaign for which Bryant co-chaired, party-goers at Bryant HQ seemed relaxed most of the evening. Crowds would gather sporadically around the several large screen televisions broadcasting election results from around the state.
In his remarks, Bryant thanked his wife, Deborah, who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday (Bryant joked that her birthday present was becoming First Lady of Mississippi), his staff whom he admits he occasionally forgets to acknowledge, and his opponent, DuPree, for running a campaign free of mudslinging, calling him "a kind and wonderful man."
Bryant didn't talk much about his administration's priorities on Election night. However, he did vow that when he assumes the governorship in January, the state will "get a responsible budget system" for the first time in about a century and that high school drop-outs will be able to "learn a trade, get a job, and be responsible citizens."