Reeves enters Mississippi governor's race

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves formally entered the 2019 gubernatorial race Thursday, saying he believes in the "great potential of our state and our people".

Reeves was joined by his wife, Elee, and their three daughters at state Republican Party headquarters as he filed his qualifying papers to run.

“We are growing a strong economy that will provide good-paying careers for the next generation. Mississippi needs conservative leaders who will stand with President Trump and work to strengthen our state,” Reeves said.

Reeves says he plans to kickoff a border-to-border retail campaign across the state after the legislative session ends in the spring.

“I am going to finish the job voters elected me to do as lieutenant governor, guarding the taxpayers’ dollars and implementing strong conservative policy,” Reeves said.

Reeves says he's committed to making Mississippi the safest place for unborn children and protecting Mississippians’ Second Amendment Rights.

Two other Republicans were in the race for the state's top office, but Thursday Petal Mayor Hal Marx announced he is withdrawing because his wife is battling cancer. State Rep. Robert Foster of Hernando has declared his intention of seeking the GOP nomination.

Democrats who have already announced for governor are fourth-term Attorney General Jim Hood and retired Jackson State University employee Velesha P. Williams.

The Jim Hood for Governor Campaign released a statement Thursday after Reeves' announcement, saying the AG looks forward ti running against the 'winner of a very spirited Republican primary'.

“For too long, Mississippi families have fallen behind. As governor, Jim Hood will clean out the swamp of lobbyists and special interests and put Mississippi families first. That means creating good paying jobs so our kids stay in Mississippi, rebuilding our dangerous roads and bridges; and changing policies that endanger rural hospitals, shortchange schools, and leave Mississippi families paying for waste and fraud.“

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Earlier:

Mississippi's second-term Republican lieutenant governor is on track to enter the race for governor.

Tate Reeves is filing qualifying papers Thursday at the state Republican Party headquarters, ending months of speculation about his plans.

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

Two other Republicans have already announced they will run for the state's top office. They are Petal Mayor Hal Marx and state Rep. Robert Foster of Hernando.

Democrats who have already announced for governor are fourth-term Attorney General Jim Hood and retired Jackson State University employee Velesha P. Williams.

Reeves would likely enter the race with more money than any candidate. The most recent finance reports, filed nearly a year ago, showed Reeves had $5.4 million to Hood's $656,400.