Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky are electing governors this year. Tate Reeves (left) is the second-term lieutenant governor. He faces fourth-term Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood (right) and two other candidates in Mississippi, where Republicans have held the Governor's Mansion for 24 of the past 28 years. Photos by Ashton Pittman
MADISON, Miss. (AP) — Republican nominees for all eight statewide offices in Mississippi appeared together at a campaign rally Monday, and the nominee for governor, Tate Reeves, predicted that all eight will win this fall.
Speaking to standing-room-only crowd of Republicans at a Madison restaurant, Reeves said: "I've just got one question for you. Are y'all ready to take the fight to the Democrats in November?"
The crowd cheered.
Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky are electing governors this year. Reeves is the second-term lieutenant governor. He faces fourth-term Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and two other candidates in Mississippi, where Republicans have held the Governor's Mansion for 24 of the past 28 years.
Hood is the only Democrat currently holding statewide office in Mississippi.
Mississippi law limits governors to two terms, so Republican Gov. Phil Bryant could not seek re-election. He long ago endorsed Reeves, who defeated retired Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. in a Republican primary runoff Aug. 27.
In a news release Monday, the Democratic Governors Association noted that Waller has said he's not endorsing Reeves. The DGA also questioned why Waller was not at Monday's event, and the statement said: "Tate Reeves is tearing the (Mississippi) GOP apart."
Bryant stood with the nominees Monday and said he will ask President Donald Trump to travel to Mississippi to campaign for them. Trump won Mississippi in the 2016 presidential race and made multiple appearances in the state last year to campaign for Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.
"You can bet I'm going do everything in my power to get him back to Mississippi to endorse this Republican team," Bryant said. "He's been here five times. I'm going to go ahead and tell the Democrats something: Y'all get ready. He's coming back."