As Mississippians head to the polls they'll cast their ballots in one of the most competitive races for governor since 2003. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Republican Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Democratic challenger Attorney General Jim Hood are in a heated race for Mississippi governor. A recent Mason-Dixon poll puts Reeves ahead 46 percent to Hood's 43 percent. Jackson State University Professor D'Andra Orey says Hood has had Republican support as attorney general.
"Jim Hood being a former attorney general was really running as a non-partisan for the most part but having a Democratic label and Republicans took a liking to him and they continued to support him and he had the incumbency advantage," said Orey.
Reeves campaigned as a conservative who cut taxes and touted the state's 2 percent growth rate. Hood focused on Medicaid expansion and raising teacher pay. Attorney Jim Herring, a former state Republican Party Chair supported Reeves' opponent in the Republican Primary, State Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller. Now he'll vote for Reeves.
"I just have to believe that the majority of people in the state will vote his way because of his stance on fiscal integrity and the other issues he has run on. It's been effective," said Herring.
Professor Orey says President Donald Trump's visit to Tupelo last week to support Reeves will help the candidate--it's the type of support Hood lacks.
"Hood doesn't have anybody to bring in. There's no high-profile icon who can come down on Hood's behalf and mobilize these voters that are on the fence," said Orey
Whoever wins the election must do so with 50 plus one percent of the vote and take a majority of the 122 House Districts, otherwise the House will vote to determine who will be the next governor.