(By Steve Wilson/The Center Square) — Incumbent Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves won Tuesday night to earn a second term with a nearly 38,685-vote advantage.
Reeves was in front of Democrat Brandon Presley, cousin of the late Elvis Presley, led most of the night to unofficial results. He had 51.8% of the votes with 95% of precincts reporting. Presley finished with 46.9% of the vote, about the same percentage as Reeves’ previous opponent, former state Attorney General Jim Hood, in 2019.
The Northern District Public Service commissioner outraised Reeves 2-to-1, mostly from out-of-state money in one of the best Democratic gubernatorial showings in several cycles.
Presley conceded the race to Reeves about 11 p.m.
Mississippi is a wonderful state that welcomed me and Katelyn into all 82 counties over this campaign. While tonight’s result wasn’t what we wanted, I’m more confident than ever in our people. May God bless Gov. Reeves in his victory and this great state. pic.twitter.com/uCaxzhIq3Y
— Brandon Presley (@BrandonPresley) November 8, 2023
Dave Wasserman, the senior editor and elections analyst of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, called the race for Reeves at 9:28 p.m.
I've seen enough: Tate Reeves (R) wins reelection in #MSGOV, defeating Brandon Presley (D).
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 8, 2023
The election was marred by polling issues in Hinds County, the state’s most populous county and the home of the state capitol. Several precincts ran out of ballots. State regulations require enough ballots to be printed for at least 60% of registered voters. By 10:19 p.m., there was 40% of the votes counted in Hinds with Presley up by 20,000 votes.
Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas extended voting to 8 p.m., an hour after polls normally close. Special Appointed Judge Jess Dickinson also issued an order allowing voting to continue until 9 p.m. at the four locations that ran short of ballots.
Down ballot, all seven of the GOP incumbents easily held off challenges by relatively unknown Democratic challengers, with races called by The Associated Press before 9 p.m.
Scoring Republican wins, each an incumbent with more than 60% of the vote, were:
• Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann (61.6%) over Democrat D. Ryan Grover.
• Attorney General Lynn Fitch (58.9%) over Democrat Greta Martin.
• Secretary of State Michael Watson (60.3%) over Democrat Ty Pinkins.
• Auditor Shad White (59.5%) over Democrat and Anguilla Mayor Larry Bradford.
• Treasurer David McRae (59.2%) over Democrat Addie Lee Green.
• Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney (60.2%) over Democrat Bruce Burton.
• Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson (58.6%) over Robert Bradford.