Waller forces Reeves into runoff for Mississippi GOP governor nomination

Published 5:38 am Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. are headed to a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor.

First-term state Rep. Robert Foster was eliminated from the three-person primary Tuesday.

Reeves earned just short of the 50 percent he would have needed to clench the GOP nomination.

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Waller received 33 percent of the vote.

GOP Gov. Phil Bryant couldn’t seek a third term. The winner of the Aug. 27 Republican runoff will face Democrat Jim Hood as well as an independent and a Constitution Party candidate in November.

Forty-five-year-old Reeves has presided over the Mississippi Senate for two terms as lieutenant governor after two terms as state treasurer.

Reeves campaigned on a record of tax-cutting. Sixty-seven-year-old Waller said Mississippi needs to spend more money on highways.

Reeves opposes Medicaid expansion. Waller said Mississippi should seek federal permission to let low-income residents purchase Medicaid coverage.

Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky are electing governors this year.