MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – In Mississippi, this year’s governor’s race could be one of the closest and closely-watched in the country.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is one of several candidates looking to replace incumbent Republican Phil Bryant.
The 44-year-old is unapologetic and firm in his conservative positions, everything from Medicaid expansion to abortion legislation.
Reeves said he’s ready for a promotion to the Mississippi governor’s mansion.
“I’m the best candidate because I’m the guy that’s willing to stand up and say no to the liberal extremists,” Reeves said.
Polls show Reeves as the Republican frontrunner. While he touts job creation as his top priority, Reeves is strongly against any form of Medicaid expansion in the Magnolia State.
“If we can get more people in a good job that have good health care options, we’ll be in a better shape than any government program will ever allow,” Reeves said.
Reeves also does not support a recent vote by the Ole Miss student senate to move a Confederate monument off campus.
“While some may look back on our history and not like what they see, we can’t change history and moving that statue is unnecessary,” Reeves said.
On abortion, Reeves applauded the Mississippi legislature for passing a bill last month which bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Opponents described it as one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the nation, and it is expected to face lengthy legal challenges.
“I have every intention on defending that law and every other pro-life bill that we’ve passed in the Mississippi legislature, all the way up to the United States Supreme Court if that’s what’s necessary,” Reeves said.
Three recent separate polls by Mason-Dixon show Reeves and Democrat and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood running neck-and-neck in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup.
The Mississippi gubernatorial primary is August 6th.