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Nominee for Governor Meets with Party Leaders for First Time

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Mississippi's Democratic leaders are throwing their full support behind their unlikely new candidate for Governor, and officials say they believe Robert Gray will make a serious candidate.

Many people in Mississippi may be hearing the name Robert Gray for the first time. He's a 46-year-old truck driver, who on Wednesday morning, was named that state's Democratic nominee for Governor.

And while Gray may be a political unknown, Democratic officials are quickly lining up behind their nominee. 

State Party Chair Ricky Cole met with Gray yesterday. He says Gray may be the kind of leader the state of Mississippi needs.

""He is definitely a serious person; he is not some sort of fringe outlier," Cole says. "He's a real, working-man and I think he makes a great citizen-candidate. He's got a lot of real world experience and a whole lot of common sense and I think that's in short supply in state government in Mississippi."

Despite receiving the full backing of the state's Democratic Party, many Mississippians are now asking how somebody who barely ran a campaign and didn't spend a dime could have beaten two higher-profile, female candidates. 

Cole believes it's because Gray's name was the first name on the ballot.

"There not there for the Governor's race," says Cole, "they came to vote in the supervisor's race or the sheriff's race or a superintendent's race. So when they see these three names and they say 'I don't know any of these folks, ' they just check the first one and then they move to the race where they got some information about. That's basically what happened in this instance in my opinion."

Gray went on to say that he looks forward to campaigning over the coming months and hopes incumbent Republican Governor Phil Bryant will debate him prior to the November election.