Hughes says he will run for lt. governor, makes stop in Meridian

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A first-term Democrat in the Mississippi House says he is running for lieutenant governor in 2019.

Jay Hughes announces his run for Lt. Governor in Meridian (Photo Source: WTOK-TV)

Rep. Jay Hughes of Oxford said Thursday that the state needs to improve public education, highways and mental health services.

The 54-year-old attorney and developer is the first candidate to announce for what will be an open seat. Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is limited to two terms and is preparing to run for governor.

The lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate and has considerable influence over which bills become law.

Republican Delbert Hosemann, the third-term secretary of state, is widely considered another possible candidate for lieutenant governor.

Former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove says he's supporting fellow Hughes because has been among the most vocal supporters of public education in the legislature.

Musgrove lived in Batesville when he served two terms in the state Senate, from 1988 to 1996, and was chairman of the Senate Education Committee the second term. He was lieutenant governor from 1996 to 2000 and governor from 2000 to 2004, losing a bid for a second term to Republican Haley Barbour.