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Reeves agrees to gubernatorial debate

Reeves agrees to gubernatorial debate

By: Frank Corder - October 4, 2023
Brandon Presley and Tate Reeves

Brandon Presley - left (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis - Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.) Tate Reeves - right (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis - Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Earlier in the election cycle, Democratic nominee Presley had challenged Republican incumbent Governor Reeves to five debates, all in October. Yet, on Tuesday, Reeves said he would attend the “first Gubernatorial debate” on November 1st.

Governor Tate Reeves announced on Tuesday that he will attend a gubernatorial debate hosted by WAPT TV on November 1st, six days before the General Election to be held on November 7th.

“Pleased to announce that the first Gubernatorial debate will be on November 1st at 7:00 PM on WAPT! I’m looking forward to talking about our record on jobs and schools, and dispelling the lies funded by out-of-state liberals,” Governor Reeves, the Republican nominee seeking re-election, posted on X (formerly Twitter).

A message sent to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Brandon Presley’s campaign asking if he would agree to attend was not immediately returned.

Earlier in the election cycle, Presley had challenged Reeves to five debates in October. On Monday, the Presley campaign stated that the Democratic nominee agreed to the following debate schedule with no contact from the Reeves campaign:

  • A WJTV Debate on October 13
  • A Gray TV (WLBT, WLOX, WDAM, WTOK, WCBI, WMC) Debate on October 26
  • NAACP Candidate Debates on October 9 and 19
  • A Stennis Capitol Press Forum Debate on October 23

Governor Reeves’ announcement of the WAPT debate on November 1st as the “first Gubernatorial debate” indicates that the Republican nominee will not attend those listed by Presley’s campaign.

In appears to be a response to Reeves’ announcement, Presley posted on X: “Since Tate Reeves won’t agree to any debates in October, I’ll bring an empty chair to the five scheduled debates this month.”

Gwendolyn Gray is also a candidate for Governor in the General Election. She is an Independent candidate. It is unclear at this time whether she will be joining the Republican and Democratic nominees on a debate stage.

Magnolia Tribune will continue to follow this developing story. An update to this article will be shared when Presley’s campaign officially responds.



While there has still been no official word from his campaign, Democratic nominee Brandon Presley seemingly agreed to the November 1st debate, posting on X (formerly Twitter) Wednesday evening: “I’ll debate anytime, anywhere, including November 1st. Mississippians are already voting and deserve an October debate. We’ll be ready with an empty chair next week when Tate chickens out of the first general election debate.”

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: