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Election 2023: On the Campaign Trail...

Election 2023: On the Campaign Trail – October 13

By: Frank Corder - October 13, 2023
Campaign Election 2023

Endorsements announced in various races, Gubernatorial candidates court black voters, and Campaign Finance Reports hit the web.

With under a month to go before the November 7th General Election, here’s a recap of the latest happenings on the campaign trail as Mississippi voters prepare to cast their ballots.

Latest Campaign Finance Reports released

The latest round of campaign finance reports hit the web this week just under a month from General Election Day in Mississippi.

See where state and commission candidates stand heading down the stretch by clicking here.

Presley, Reeves court black voters on the Coast

This week, both remaining gubernatorial candidates made a point to court black voters in Mississippi in campaign stops along the Gulf Coast.

Democratic nominee Brandon Presley appeared at a forum in Gulfport hosted by the NAACP billed as a “debate,” although the incumbent Republican Governor Tate Reeves did not attend the Q&A. In a tongue-in-cheek move, Presley’s camp hung a photo of Reeves on the table next to Presley and posted it on social media.

Presley later shared an AP article about his outreach to black voters, writing in the caption, “There is no way to deal with the issues of race without facing them. And I won’t make empty promises on this campaign. I am committed to working with all Mississippians to make sure that folks have access to healthcare, that our public schools are funded, and that we are investing in workforce training programs.”

For his part, Governor Reeves joined a group of influential black Coast community leaders for a meet and greet.

“I was glad to meet with leaders in the African American community on the Coast tonight to discuss the progress we’ve made in the last four years and the work to come,” Reeves shared on social media. “Proud to work for the people of Mississippi!”

Reeves endorsed by Gulf Coast Business Council

On Wednesday, the Gulf Coast Business Council Political Action Committee (GCBC PAC) announced its endorsement of incumbent Republican Govenor Tate Reeves for re-election.

The PAC made the announcement at the Biloxi Visitors Center where coast business leaders gathered to support Reeves.

The GCBC PAC was established in 2022 with the sole purpose of making contributions and/or endorsements to candidates for public office, regardless of political affiliation, who support pro-business and pro-tourism issues, initiatives, policies and laws.

The Gulf Coast Business Council is a private sector-led organization comprised of top-level business and industry leaders from Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties. The GCBC is the united voice for pro-business and pro-tourism policy that enhances Coastal Mississippi’s business climate and improves the quality of life for all its residents.

Carpenters Union endorses Presley

The Central South Carpenters Regional Council has endorsed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Brandon Presley.

The Central South Carpenters is within one of the largest trade Unions in America, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, and have affiliates in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.  

In their endorsement release, Kavin Griffin, EST & CEO of the Central South Carpenters Regional Council, said there is no better candidate than Presley to “fight for better wages and working conditions.” 

“As governor, Brandon Presley will support union apprenticeship programs, wage protections of hardworking people, and infrastructure investment,” Griffin said.

Other Headlines in the Governor’s Race This Week

Solar company cries foul over Reeves’ ad accusing Presley of taking illegal contributions

  • Top brass at Silicon Ranch, a solar company, gave Brandon Presley campaign contributions while on the PSC. Gov. Reeves says that’s illegal. Now Silicon Ranch is threatening legal action of their own.

Presley, buoyed by Democratic Governors Association and union PACs, outraises Reeves this period

  • Governor Tate Reeves, the Republican incumbent, maintains a large cash on hand advantage over Democratic gubernatorial nominee Brandon Presley with a month left until the General Election.

Pinkins endorsed by AFL-CIO

Democratic Secretary of State candidate Ty Pinkins has been endorsed by the Mississippi branch of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO).

The Mississippi branch is one of nearly 500 state and local councils of the AFL-CIO and prides itself on being the heart of the labor movement. 

“Mississippi needs leaders who put working families first – not their lobbyist friends, donors, and wallets. We are proud to endorse a true son of Mississippi for Secretary of State,” said Robert Shaffer, President of Mississippi AFL-CIO. “Ty Pinkins has lived the American Dream, growing up in the Delta, and the first in his family to graduate high school, college, and law school. He served our country with distinction for two decades in the armed forces as a combat veteran – so we know he’s a fighter who has what it takes to fight for us.”

Pinkins was named as the Democratic Party’s substitute candidate for the Secretary of State’s race after nominee Shuwaski Young withdrew. Pinkins is now facing incumbent Republican Secretary of State Michael Watson in the General Election.

Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion groups endorse Mississippi AG candidates

This week, pro-life and pro-abortion groups offered their endorsements in the Mississippi Attorney General’s race.

Incumbent Republican Attorney General Lynn Fitch picked up the endorsement of the Susan B. Anthony List for Pro-Life America. They called her a “pro-life hero” and noted her leadership in the Dobbs case which overturned Roe v. Wade.

“Together, we led the way to a nation where the people decide how best to empower women and promote life. And together, we are supporting women and children with respect, hope, and love,” Fitch shared. “Thank you Susan B. Anthony List for supporting me in this effort.”

Democratic nominee Greta Kemp Martin picked up the backing of Reproductive Freedom for All. The pro-abortion group said Kemp Martin is committed to taking action to safeguard “reproductive freedom and the right to abortion care for everyone in Mississippi.”

“Couldn’t be prouder to accept this endorsement from Reproductive Freedom for All,” Kemp Martin shared. “We know Mississippians want healthcare freedom, and we know that my opponent will not stop at abortion in controlling your access to healthcare.”

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. 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: