/Former Chief Justice Waller to enter governor’s race, setting up cramped GOP primary

Former Chief Justice Waller to enter governor’s race, setting up cramped GOP primary

Bill Waller Jr. is a former chief justice of Mississippi Supreme Court. He is the son of former Gov. The Clarion Ledger reported Wednesday afternoon that Bill Waller Jr. will run as a Republican for governor. Waller’s sources later confirmed to Mississippi Today his intention to run. Soon after Waller announced that he would resign on January 31st, his term as the head of the state’s highest court, speculation began about Waller becoming a candidate for governor. Waller told a reporter at a Jackson luncheon that he was considering running for governor – the position his father was elected in 1971 as a Democrat. In the past, it was not clear whether Waller would run for the governor’s seat as a Republican or Democrat. Non-partisan elections are open to members of the judiciary. Waller, 66 did not make any public comments Wednesday about what sources close to Waller said was his pending announcement for the governorship in the coming weeks. March 1 is the qualifying deadline. Parker Briden, a Reeves campaign spokesperson, stated that they have always expected multiple primary challengers. “Every open governors’ race is full of them,” he said. “Tate Reeves has stood firm against increasing taxes and expanding Obamacare, and Mississippi voters want that type of strong leader to be their governor.” Reeves has an unprecedented level of grassroots support and financial support. With at least $7million in campaign contributions, Reeves almost certainly will have the financial advantage over any candidate. Waller, who served 21 years as the state’s highest court judge, is looking to capitalise on Reeves lack of popularity within certain circles – based upon polling. Rep. Steve Holland, D. Planttersville, said that Justice Waller’s decision is likely to change the culture of the election. According to campaign sources, Waller also intends to present his candidacy to be the candidate that can defeat Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood during the November general election. Based on polling among conservatives, Hood, 56 is considered a moderate Democrat. Hood has stated numerous times that he has been whispered supported by prominent Republicans in the state. Reeves (44), has been on the statewide ballots from 2003 and has been a prominent figure in the state’s public life since his election as lieutenant governor 2011. Waller, however, is only on the Central District ballot as a Supreme Court Justice. In a Mason-Dixon poll, 55% of respondents said that they did not recognize Waller’s name in January when they were stacked with Hood and Reeves. Waller will still rely on his many years of public service. Waller was first elected in 1996 to the Supreme Court. Waller was previously in private practice and served as a Jackson municipal judge. At least one other Republican is also eligible to run for governor. Robert Foster, a freshman state representative from Hernando, declared his candidacy in December. Foster’s campaign also seeks to counter Reeves’ perceived inevitability among Republicans. Foster said that he believes choices are good for people after hearing about the Waller announcement. Foster, 35, stated that he is looking forward to Republican candidates discussing the issues before the August primary elections. To support this work, you can make a regular donation to us today as part of the Spring Member Drive.