/Tate Reeves spends big in final days before Republican governor’s runoff against Bill Waller

Tate Reeves spends big in final days before Republican governor’s runoff against Bill Waller

The Reeves campaign contacted Mississippi Today to clarify that the payment was made to Right Way Strategies Inc. owned by Justin Brasell, a long-time Reeves political strategist. Mississippi Today was informed by representatives from Right Way Strategies LLC and Right Way Strategies Inc. that the finance report had been mislabeled. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has spent at most $729,000 advertising since the Aug.6 Republican primary for governor. This was in advance of the runoff against Bill Waller Jr. the former chief justice of Mississippi Supreme Court. Reeves spent $1.9million between July 28th and August 17th. This includes $1.2 million with Maryland’s On Message Inc., a media consulting firm Reeves used since 2003. According to Tuesday’s campaign finance reports filed with the Secretary-of-State’s office, $729,000 was spent on On Message Inc. after the Aug. 6 primary. Reeves spent $445,595 on July 29 with his media consultant, presumably to buy television ads. Reeves received almost 49 percent of votes in the primary, compared to Waller’s 33 percent. 18% was received by Robert Foster, the DeSoto County State Rep. who has since endorsed Waller. Reeves was the top vote-getter, while Waller received less than 50%. Reeves, who has raised $7.48million and spent $6.2million in his efforts to secure the Republican nomination for the Governor’s Mansion, has spent $6.2million in total. Current governor Phil Bryant, who endorsed Reeves’ candidacy, is currently on a term-limited basis. Waller has, however, spent $1.42million this year, which is $500,000 less than Reeves’ expenditures between July 28th and August 17. Waller raised $548 023 between July 28th and August 17th. Reeves has outraised Waller and spent more than Waller but Reeves was able to raise about $200,000 less. Waller’s campaign missed Tuesday’s 5 pm deadline to deliver the report the Secretary of State’s Office. This meant that it wasn’t available publicly on Tuesday night. According to a Waller campaign spokesperson, the campaign provided Mississippi Today with the campaign’s fundraising figures. Waller and Reeves will have a great opportunity to get free advertising Wednesday night, when Jackson-based WJTV hosts their only gubernatorial debate. Reeves, Waller and WJTV’s anchor Byron Brown will debate for 30 minutes. The public is not allowed to attend. The debate will be live broadcast on all Mississippi Public Radio stations: WJTV in Jackson, WHLT in Hattiesburg and WXXV in Gulfport. A group of Republican elected officials met at the Republican Party Headquarters in Jackson on the day that Reeves’ reports revealed large spending before the runoff to discuss their support for Reeves. Bryant, a former governor, was part of the group. Haley Barbour was joined by Mike Chaney, the insurance commissioner, Andy Gipson, the agriculture and commerce commissioner, and several other legislators. “This election is all about policy. Barbour, who donated thousands of dollars to Reeves’ campaign in this year’s election, stated Tuesday that it was about issues. This is about issues that affect Mississippi government and all Mississippians. Do not let anyone steer you in any other direction. Support this work by making a regular donation today to celebrate our Spring Member Drive. This will allow us to continue important work such as this one.