Johnson is running uphill against Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, one of the most powerful men in the state. Reeves has more than $3 million in campaign cash and could drown out Johnson’s message if he needed to. Johnson has an easygoing demeanor, a full tank of gas in his pickup and a platform he says would sell if he could get the message out.
But Johnson doesn’t have the cash he needs to put up a statewide TV-ad blitz — a little more than $54,000 in the last filing available on the Secretary of State’s Office website. So he’s doing it the old-fashioned way, driving around the state meeting with anyone willing to shake hands with a former Republican who’s now backing Medicaid expansion and Initiative 42, the ballot measure that deals with education funding.
“It’s about taking my experience as a state senator, a county supervisor and an alderman and applying it to the lieutenant governor’s job,” he said. “I don’t really know Tate, but I know his policies.”