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Gov. Reeves sworn in for second term after underwhelming election win in deep-red Mississippi

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves was inaugurated for his second term on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old Republican is the fourth Mississippi governor to win two consecutive terms.

Reeves campaigned by focusing on tax cuts, job creation, low unemployment and improvements in education. He also cast his Democratic opponent as a liberal backed by out-of-state donors who were out of step with Mississippi.

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE BEGINS NEW TERM AS GOP OVERHAULS HOUSE LEADERSHIP

Reeves held two other statewide elected offices before becoming governor four years ago. He served two terms as treasurer and two as lieutenant governor.

The state lifted its ban on gubernatorial succession in the 1980s. Republicans have held the Mississippi governorship the past 20 years.

The November general election was unusually competitive in a state where Republicans control all statewide offices and both chambers of the Legislature.

Reeves received nearly 51% of the vote to defeat Democrat Brandon Presley, who received nearly 48%, and independent Gwendolyn Gray, who received just over 1%.

Presley, a state utility regulator and second cousin of Elvis Presley, said Reeves had hurt the state by refusing to expand Medicaid to cover people working lower-wage jobs that do not provide health insurance. Presley pledged to clean up corruption, pointing to welfare money that was spent on pet projects for the wealthy and well-connected rather than aid for some of the poorest people in one of the poorest states in the nation.

   

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