Quick drops out, Presley rolls out ethics plank, Reeves endorsed by national pro-life group, and more.
Here’s a recap of the latest happenings on the campaign trail as Mississippi voters prepare to cast their ballots this fall.
Quick withdraws from Lt. Governor race
Shane Quick, a lesser-known candidate running for Lt. Governor in the Republican Party Primary this cycle, has withdrawn from the race. His campaign submitted their termination papers to the Secretary of State’s office on Thursday.
Quick’s campaign never really got off the ground, and his campaign finance reports show it. He had only raised $101 since the beginning of this year.
He ran for Lt. Governor in 2019 in the GOP Primary versus Hosemann, pulling in just over 14% of the vote.
This cycle, Quick and Tiffany Longino, another candidate for the seat, have been overshadowed by incumbent Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann and State Senator Chris McDaniel.
The winner of the Republican Primary will face Democrat Ryan Grover in the November General Election.
Presley wants Ethics Commission over Campaign Finance Reporting
Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley released what his campaign is calling the final planks in his ethics plan.
Presley announced that he wants to strengthen the Ethics Commission, an unelected body, so Mississippians “have an independent watchdog they can be proud of” as well as “restore integrity to the governor’s office.”
Presley proposes transferring all campaign finance reporting duties and enforcement from the Secretary of State’s office to the Ethics Commission and empowering the Ethics Commission to conduct random audits of candidates’ campaign finance reports, contributions, and expenditures.
The Democrat candidate also said would support legislation to prohibit companies seeking a license, permit, or non-competitive contract, along with their agents, PACs, and employees, from donating more than $250 to political campaigns from the date of solicitation and/or for 12 months after the final award is made. Presley said he would like to require the governor’s office and all state agencies to keep records of all meetings with lobbyists and companies and individuals lobbying the government for contracts or legislation that benefits them.
Presley’s comments come in the midst of questions about his own campaign’s finance practices, having received and then returned a direct contribution from a regulated utility as a sitting Public Service Commission. Presley has also taken campaign contributions from a consultant hired by the Public Service Commission and whose invoices are paid by a regulated utility.
Mississippi Code § 77-1-11 states that it is unlawful for a sitting Public Service Commissioner from knowingly accepting “…any gift, pass, money, campaign contribution or any emolument or other pecuniary benefit whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, from any person interested as owner, agent or representative, or from any person acting in any respect for such owner, agent or representative of any common or contract carrier by motor vehicle, telephone company, gas or electric utility company, or any other public utility that shall come under the jurisdiction or supervision of the Public Service Commission.”
Reeves campaigns on the Coast, endorsed by SBA Pro-Life America
Governor Tate Reeves spent a good deal of time on the Mississippi Coast this past week. Among his activities, Reeves stopped in at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic in Biloxi and held a fundraiser in Pascagoula.
While campaigning on the Coast, the incumbent Republican Governor received word that Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, the nation’s most prominent pro-life organization, was endorsing his bid for re-election.
“Governor Tate Reeves doesn’t just talk about having pro-life values, he takes action,” the endorsement stated. “We proudly stand with Gov. Reeves and urge the people of Mississippi to re-elect him to see the cause of life advance even further in his next four years.
Mississippi Democratic Party calls for redrawing of district lines
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a congressional district in Alabama must to redrawn to accommodate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Following that opinion, the Mississippi Democratic Party released a statement calling on the Mississippi legislature to “seize this opportunity to reevaluate and redraw our legislative and congressional districts.”
“By doing so, we aim to ensure fair and inclusive elections for all Mississippians, with a specific focus on upholding the voting rights of Black Mississippians,” the state Democratic Party said. “In solidarity with the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP, we fully support their ongoing lawsuit: Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP V. State Board of Election Commissioners, which was filed on December 20, 2022. This crucial legal action seeks to address the systemic issues surrounding electoral boundaries and promote equitable representation for all citizens.”
Stump Speakin’ coming to Hernando
Candidates in local, legislative and state races will be on the stump in DeSoto County later this month for “Stump Speakin'” at Cedar Hill Farm in Hernando.
Mississippi 1st District Congressman Trent Kelly and Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green, both Republicans, are said to be headlining the event.
Among the state candidates listed to speak are both Republican candidates for Northern District Public Service Commissioner, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney and his challenger Mitch Young, Treasurer David McRae, and Lt. Govenor candidate State Senator Chris McDaniel.