Mississippi has reelected incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, according to the Associated Press, avoiding an upset from Democratic hopeful Brandon Presley — Elvis Presley’s second cousin — and continuing the GOP’s decades-long hold on the state’s governorship.
The Associated Press called the race for Reeves at 12.30 p.m. Eastern time, with an estimated 94% of the vote counted.
Reeves held a lead with 51.6% of the vote, followed by Presley with 46.6%.
$11.3 million. That’s how much money Presley raised over the course of his campaign — about $5 million more than what Reeves generated, according to Ballotpedia. However, Reeves’ campaign had more cash in hand as of Nov. 1.
Presley conceded the race just before AP called it for the Republican saying he respected the voters’ decision. In a post on X he wrote: “Mississippi is a wonderful state that welcomed me and Katelyn into all 82 counties over this campaign. While tonight’s result wasn’t what we wanted, I’m more confident than ever in our people. May God bless Gov. Reeves in his victory and this great state.”
Reeves served as Mississippi’s lieutenant governor for eight years prior to becoming governor in 2020. In the leadup to the election, he received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who said in a video that Presley was owned by President Joe Biden. Presley, who has served on the Mississippi Public Service Commission since 2008, faced an uphill battle to become governor, a position that has remained in Republican hands for more than 20 years. He ran on a campaign focused on expanding Medicaid to more than 200,000 Mississippi residents who are currently ineligible for the federal and state healthcare program, while Reeves has openly opposed it, the Associated Press reported. Presley has poked at Reeves’ time as Mississippi lieutenant governor, during which at least $77 million in the state’s welfare fund was misspent or directed to state political figures from at least 2017 to 2020, according to Mississippi Today. Reeves, who has denounced the wrongdoing, was sued last month in a lawsuit alleging he is trying to protect political colleagues from the scandal.