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Governor Tate Reeves will return for...

Governor Tate Reeves will return for second term

By: Sarah Ulmer ,    Jeremy Pittari - November 8, 2023

Governor Tate Reeves speaks at his election victory party after securing his second term. (Photo from Hunter Estes via X)

Democratic candidate Brandon Presley called Reeves to concede, telling his supporters he wanted to end his campaign well.

Republican Governor Tate Reeves will serve another term as chief executive of the state of Mississippi.

With just under 800,000 votes reported in the state, Reeves took the win with nearly 52% of the vote against Democrat Brandon Presley’s 47%. Independent Gwendolyn Gray, who previously withdrew from the race, received just under 2% of the vote.   

“I just want to begin by saying thank you, Mississippi,” said Reeves upon taking the stage after being declared the winner. “A few moments ago I spoke to Brandon Presley and accepted his congratulations. Brandon campaigned hard, he went to communities all around this state. Now, he and I will always have our differences, I think we made that pretty clear in this campaign, but I want to congratulate him on running hard all the way through.”

The Governor went on to thank his wife and daughters for their support as well as the voters for his re-election, as he outlined his plans for the future. He said he aims to focus on increasing jobs, continued education reform, bringing about additional economic investments, and protecting conservative values. 

Reeves said this victory is more than just the occupancy of the Governor’s Mansion for the next few years. He said it marks the direction in which the state will go. He remarked on the current momentum of the state and reiterated that “this is Mississippi’s time.”

“Twenty years ago, when I asked y’all to support me as the state’s chief financial officer it took a great leap of faith for the people to hire me for that job,” said Reeves. “I know I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve never stopped trying to earn your trust.” 

He promised the crowd he would continue to work hard and rally fellow Mississippians for progress in the state.

Presley conceded after a majority of the votes had been counted Tuesday night, saying the aim of his campaign was always to unite the state across party and racial lines.

“It means the world to me that you would put your faith in a kid from Nettleton who grew up the way I grew up and found my way into politics. Unfortunately, it looks like we came up a little short and I spoke with Governor Reeves just a minute ago and congratulated him on his victory,” Presley said to a crowd of his supporters at his campaign’s watch party. “We want to end this campaign well. We feel like we began it well, we want to end it well. And Reeves deserves congratulations on his victory. This state depends on leadership for the next four years on tough issues, things we need to see our state move forward.”

Even though he will not be taking over the responsibilities of the Governor’s office come January, Presley warned that there are still issues at hand that must be addressed.

“This campaign was never just about me, and I tried to make that clear in the 11 months that we’ve been in this relationship,” Presley said. “It’s been about Mississippi as a whole and we still have issues that confront our state that will have to be confronted that we’ve talked about throughout this campaign.”

Presley ended his concession speech noting the importance of all of Mississippi coming together as one, not just politically, but in every aspect.

“I said over the last several days that I had made a promise to myself that if we would run a campaign that sought to unite the state, sought to unite Republicans, Democrats and Independents, but more importantly to me, to unite our state racially. To run a campaign in which we truthfully, truthfully, worked to bridge the racial divide in Mississippi,” Presley commented.

With the Governor’s race secured, all eight Republican statewide officials will retain their positions for another term.  

Reeves swept the southern, central and northeastern portions of the state to secure the win while losing in the capital city and along the Delta.

The election night was not without controversy. In Hinds County, a reported shortage of ballots led to the filing of a lawsuit to allow the polls to remain open after the statutory 7:00 p.m. cut off. While the original suit was upheld by a Chancery judge’s order, an appeal was filed by the Mississippi Republican Party. 

Ultimately, a special judge was appointed by Chief Justice Michael Randolph. Jess Dickinson issued an order to allow polls to remain open for four precincts in Hinds County until 9:00 p.m. However, only voters who were in line by 7:00 p.m. were eligible to vote. 

Below, Governor Reeves speaks to the press after declaring victory on Tuesday.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah:
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Jeremy Pittari

Jeremy Pittari is a lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast. Born and raised in Slidell, La., he moved to South Mississippi in the early 90s. Jeremy earned an associate in arts from Pearl River Community College and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor's of arts in journalism. A week after Hurricane Katrina, he started an internship as a reporter with the community newspaper in Pearl River County. After graduation, he accepted a full-time position at that news outlet where he covered the recovery process post Katrina in Pearl River and Hancock Counties. For nearly 17 years he wrote about local government, education, law enforcement, crime, business and a variety of other topics. Email Jeremy: