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Reeves has most campaign cash in Mississippi gov’s race

July 11, 2019
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FILE - In this June 21, 2019, file photograph, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, speaks at a candidates forum in Biloxi, Miss. Mississippi candidates for public offices face a campaign finance report deadline, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
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FILE - In this June 21, 2019, file photograph, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, speaks at a candidates forum in Biloxi, Miss. Mississippi candidates for public offices face a campaign finance report deadline, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — With party primaries less than a month away, second-term Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves still has more campaign cash than any candidate running for Mississippi governor.

Finance reports filed Wednesday show Reeves, of Flowood, had more than $5.8 million in his campaign fund at the end of June.

The other two candidates in the Republican gubernatorial primary had less than one-tenth of that amount, combined. Former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. of Jackson reported about $373,000 on hand, and first-term state Rep. Robert Foster of Hernando reported just over $7,000.

Fourth-term Attorney General Jim Hood of Houston had more money than any Democrat running for governor, with $1.5 million on hand. The other Democrats, combined, reported having a fraction of that.

Velesha P. Williams of Flora, a retired Jackson State University administrator, reported $1,281 on hand. Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith of Jackson had $907, and Jackson resident Bob Hickingbottom had $193. Three of the Democrats did not file a report by the deadline.

Primaries are Aug. 6. If runoffs are needed, they will be Aug. 27. The general election is Nov. 5.

Throughout the campaign, Reeves has criticized Hood and has largely ignored his Republican primary opponents.

Reeves campaign spokesman Parker Briden said in a news release that Hood’s financial supporters are “running into a buzzsaw.”

“We are running hard and we’re not slowing down, because Tate Reeves is laser-focused on defeating the Democrats this November,” Briden said. “He’s built an army of conservative support to win this race and keep Mississippi on the right track.”

Hood said in a fundraising email last week: “There’s no question in my mind that Mississippi is the greatest state in our union. That’s why I’m running for governor — because I want to grow our economy, improve our public education system, and make health care more affordable and accessible to take Mississippi to its full potential.”

The current governor, Republican Phil Bryant, could not seek a third term.

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This story has been corrected to show the most recent numbers for Bill Waller Jr.

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