Tat Reeves complained that Brandon Presley was bought and paid for by people who are not from this area, such as President Joe Biden.
Presley Reeves says he doesn’t care about Mississippians’ health care or struggling hospitals because he won’t sign off on Medicaid expansion.
Reeves, the current Republican governor, and Presley, the Democratic challenger, traded barbs for an hour Wednesday on WAPT in Jackson, the only debate between the two to decide who voters will hold in the Nov. 7 general election. Mississippi senior government job. Broadcast by WAPT and Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
WAPT turned their regular news studio into a makeshift theater with seats for 35 or so allowed to watch from inside.
Presley Reeves has been invited to participate in five debates, which took place last month at a forum held by the NAACP in Gulfport. But Reeves agreed to only one. Questions collected from audience submissions were asked by WAPT anchors Megan West and Troy Johnson.
More of the same at Hobnob: Reeves, Presley offer competing views on Hobnob’s post-election future
One poll put Reeves up by just one point Reeves, Presley lobbying for last-minute votes
Presley was, however, persistent and close to Reeves’ entire argument, at times seeming like the governor was on the defensive.
Presley pushed Reeves over the years-long TANF scandal, and when he pulled a piece of paper from his jacket pocket and read a text message from Reeves’ brother about Brett Favre, the governor exploded.
“You can talk about me all you want, but keep my family out of it,” Reeve shouted.
Reeves has repeatedly responded that Presley lies about every subject, backing down on most issues.
“He’s a liar; he can’t go two minutes without lying,” Reeves once said.
Meanwhile, Governor Pressley has pressed charges that he has received thousands of dollars in political contributions from the solar industry. As Public Service Commissioner, Reeves said accepting the contributions was illegal and at one point, “I’ll let the judge and jury explain.”
“The fact is, three other public service commissioners have gone to jail for the same thing you did,” Reeve repeated.
Presley noted that solar companies are often not public utilities and are fair game for donations. There is no evidence that Presley broke any laws and Reeves did not appear until Wednesday.
Presley has raised $11.3 million for his campaign this year, compared to Reeves’ $6.3 million, according to finance reports filed Tuesday, The Associated Press reported. But Reeves started the year with a lot of money. Presley spent $10.8 million and still has $1.3 million, Reeves spent $11 million and still has $1.2 million.
Hours before Reeves and Presley left the square, former President Donald Trump weighed in. He looks a lot like Reeves.
“Joe Biden wants to put the candidate and that candidate is Brandon Presley, as the governor of Mississippi. They own it. (Presley) will do whatever they want,” Trump said in a one-minute video support. For Reeves as his friend. “The citizens of Mississippi should not allow this to happen.”
Reeves acknowledged his support during the debate. Reeves endorsed Trump in 2019.
In a back-and-forth about the questioning of Jackson’s crime, Presley broached the subject and promised to work with local authorities to find solutions.
Meanwhile, Reeves cited Capitol Police in Jackson as having worked to expand funding in recent years and Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba as an obstacle to any meaningful discussion about crime.
Finally, both candidates returned to the same talking points they had used for months in campaign ads.
“I’m on record with the lowest unemployment rate in the history of the state,” Reeves said in closing. “More people are working in our region than ever before.”
He continued his education by raising fourth-grade reading scores, high school graduation rates, and teacher salaries.
In closing, Presley said he believed the forum would show the difference in leadership skills between him and Reeves.
“I’m from a small town in Nettleton, population 1,906,” Presley said in closing. “I was mayor there, I cut taxes twice. I learned from my uncle, Harold Ray Presley, who was the sheriff of Lee County. He was killed in the line of duty. I mean, you’ve got to lead from the front on those issues. Issue.”
He then mentioned his stance on health care and hospitals, the TANF corruption scandal, and crime and education.
Ross Reilly He can be reached by email at [email protected] or at 601-573-2952. You can follow him on Twitter @GreenOkra1.