Weak poll numbers have Democrats eyeing a potential governor seat in Mississippi, a state that hasn’t seen a blue executive in 19 years, according to polls.
Only 33% of Mississippians would vote to reelect Republican Governor Tate Reeves, while 57% would vote for his opponent, according to a Mississippi Today/Sienna College poll.
Although former President Donald Trump won the state by over 16 points in the 2020 election, Democrats are hopeful that Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley can break the GOP’s stranglehold over the state, according to reporting by Politico. Excitement around Presley largely stems from his perceived strong track record and inherent political talent.
“We’ve got a state filled with good people, but horrible politicians. Tate Reeves is a man with zero conviction and maximum corruption,” Presley said in a video announcing his run for governor. “He looks out for himself and his rich friends instead of the people that put him into office.”
Mississippi deserves leaders who fight for our families, children and workers rather than themselves and their rich friends. We deserve leaders who will never forget where they came from or who put them in office.
That’s why I’m running for Governor of Mississippi. pic.twitter.com/hyQzrLX0X1
— Brandon Presley (@BrandonPresley) January 12, 2023
“We can build a Mississippi where we fight corruption, not embrace it. Where we cut taxes, lower the cost of healthcare and create good jobs. A Mississippi where we finally focus on the future, not the past.”
Reeves, meanwhile, has battled numerous members of his own party, some of whom have not hidden their disdain for him. Reeves has developed a reputation as someone that creates new enemies that even Republican House Speaker of Mississippi Philip Gunn reportedly shares a tense relationship with Reeves, and planned a run to unseat him.
Although state Democrats are optimistic about Presley’s chances, some see the run as reminiscent of Democrat state Attorney General Jim Hood’s failed 2019 attempt to defeat Tate Reeves. Hood was the only Democrat serving in state-wide elected office, and still lost to Reeves by a 5-point margin.