/Foster endorsement could boost Waller in pivotal DeSoto County in runoff with Reeves

Foster endorsement could boost Waller in pivotal DeSoto County in runoff with Reeves

“This was a decision that I prayed about quite a bit and I’ve received a lot from supporters across the State over the past week. … There are thousands, if not thousands of Mississippians trying to decide which direction to take. I support Justice Bill Waller. Our state faces bigger issues. We are last for a reason. Jackson has policies that keep us last.” Foster placed third in the state, but won DeSoto County with almost 49 percent of the vote. Lt. Governor was second. Tate Reeves came in second place with nearly 40 percent. Waller, the former chief justice of Mississippi’s Supreme Court, came in third with almost 40%. Nearly 22,000 voters voted in DeSoto last Tuesday. The Republican primary saw more voters go to the polls than Rankin County. Waller was faced with two challenges in DeSoto: a lack in name recognition and insufficient funds to advertise extensively in Memphis, the most expensive market in the state. Waller could use the Foster endorsement to help him overcome those obstacles in his runoff with Reeves, which will be held Aug. 27. Waller won heavily populated Mississippi counties of Rankin and Hinds, as well as Madison and many of its suburbs. Reeves was surprised when Waller won Rankin, his home county – which has the highest number of Republican voters – by a margin of 45 to 42 percent. Waller won Madison County and Hinds by greater margins. Reeves received nearly 49 percent of the vote in statewide elections, or 182,979 unofficial returns, compared with Waller’s 33 percent. Reeves lost only eight counties to Foster and six to Waller. Waller spoke out about Foster on social media. “He ran an effective campaign and he’s true conservative who shares my beliefs regarding taking on the most difficult challenges facing our state-instead of politics. In general, endorsements from losing candidates do not always mean that much for a runoff. The Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate was won by Howard Sherman, a Meridian businessman. He was 32 percent ahead of David Baria, a state representative from Bay St. Louis. State Rep. Omeria S. Scott of Laurel placed third and endorsed Sherman. Baria lost the runoff. In 2003, Reeves’ first campaign garnered just below the majority required to avoid a runoff in his treasurer campaign. Reeves was endorsed by Andrew Ketchings (then-state Rep. Andrew Ketchings), who went on to win in the runoff. Since the first primary, Waller and Reeves had been trying to get Foster’s endorsement. Reeves praised Foster at a news conference the day following the primary. Robert worked tirelessly and Robert had great ideas for the campaign …,” Reeves stated. “Robert worked with me on several pieces of legislation over the last four years. “I will tell you that he ran an amazing campaign and earned every vote he received.” Waller’s best showings were in the state’s larger counties, except DeSoto and the Gulf Coast. Normally, less people go to the polls in runoff elections. However, this was not true for the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate between Thad Cochran, the incumbent, and Chris McDaniel, the state senator. The runoff saw 382,197 votes, or nearly 63,000 more than the first primary.