/Reeves long-time political plan hinges on outcome of pending runoff against Waller

Reeves long-time political plan hinges on outcome of pending runoff against Waller

Soon after the election, it became clear that the young financial analyst was ambitious. It didn’t matter if he was shouting about his fiscal conservatism, or taking on the powerful Democratic Speaker Billy McCoy during a public verbal sparring match at a meeting of legislative heads with state agency heads. But it was clear that J. Tate Reeves wasn’t a shrinking violet. However, his political ambitions were very specific. He wanted to become the chief executive officer for the state of Mississippi. Although it was not confirmed by the governor, there is widespread belief that Reeves could be appointed. Phil Bryant will be filling the vacant U.S. Senate seat that was left empty last year after Thad Cochran’s resignation. Nearly any politician would be thrilled to have the U.S. Senate seat. Reeves, however, wanted to be one the 50 chief executive officers of each state and not one of 100 policymakers at the Capitol. Reeves’ political ambition to be the governor of Mississippi will remain alive in the next two weeks. Reeves, who is currently in the Republican primary to be governor along with William Waller Jr., former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, is in the best position on paper. Reeves received 182,979 votes, or 48.9% in unofficial returns, against Waller who won 33.3 percent. Robert Foster, a freshman state representative, had 17.8 percent. Reeves was unable to capture a majority or avoid a runoff with the remaining 17.8 percent. Reeves held a substantial lead Tuesday night and also had cash on hand. However, there are risks involved in a runoff. A runoff is more popular than the first election in most cases. The runoff is usually a way for a candidate to get their voters back to the polls. Reeves won 74 out of 82 counties on Tuesday night. But he lost three key ones – the Jackson metropolitan counties of Hinds and Rankin, Madison, and Madison. Waller is a Hinds citizen. Reeves is a native of Rankin County. It was a bitter blow to lose his county. Reeves stated that “there are an awful lot of insiders in the Jackson metropolitan area, and it was always going to be difficult.” Reeves meant to refer to the state’s highest concentration of teachers and state employees. These groups have been disappointed with recent pay increases and have had to deal with recent budget cuts. These people could be more likely than others to vote in a runoff. Waller would need to win in these three counties, which is more than just a strong turnout. However, those counties could offer him some hope. Reeves’ real problem, both in the runoff as well as in the general election against Democratic attorney General Jim Hood on August 27, could be the exact same issue that Waller would need to win. This issue could be his strength, his political ambition and his experience. Reeves with the blessing of outgoing governor. Bryant is running as the incumbent. He claims that the state is moving in the right direction because of his leadership as lieutenant Governor. Others claim that this is false and point to statistics and perceptions that show the state is behind the rest of the nation and region. These candidates received a lot more votes than Reeves on Tuesday. While there are many other factors that will impact the November general election outcome, the perception of the state’s current condition cannot be overlooked. Reeves is also running to make history. After serving two terms as lieutenant governor for four years, there has never been a modern governor elected. Since the 1900s, only seven lieutenant governors have been elected governor. All of them were elected after serving only four years. Reeves acknowledged that a lieutenant governor has to say “no” quite often over an eight-year period. It is a dangerous thing to say no. Reeves put a positive spin upon the runoff by stating that he won in the vast majority of counties. Also, for the first time in 1800s, more people voted for a Republican primary to be elected as state officers than for the Democratic primary. This was 374,117 to 292,025. However, this does not guarantee that the general election will be held. Ask six of the seven Democratic nominees for governor who won more votes in primary elections than they did in general election.