Republican candidates for governor: Former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., freshman Rep. Robert Foster, R-Hernando and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves
Down in the polls and thin in the pocketbook, Bill Waller Jr. and Robert Foster are using a tried and true campaign strategy to gain ground on Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves in the 2019 Republican primary for governor: Retail politicking.
Waller out-traveled Reeves and Foster during the month of May, a Mississippi Today analysis of campaign schedules shows. The schedules were compiled using schedules submitted by the campaigns, social media posts and news articles about election events.
Reeves, holding more than $6 million in campaign cash and running pricey television ads airing across the state since April 23, could afford to stay closer to home last month.
The second-term lieutenant governor made 30 campaign stops in May, visiting 19 of the state’s 82 counties. More than half of Reeves’ stops were made in the 12 counties that were home to the most Republican voters in 2016.
But with considerably less money to spend on television advertising, Waller and Foster hit the road hard, exhibiting two different campaign strategies.
Waller traveled the most of the three Republican candidates, making at least 54 stops during the month of May. The former chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court pointedly focused his travel strategy on key counties that are home to the most Republican votes.
He stopped seven times in DeSoto County, home to the second most Republican votes in the state. He stopped four times in Rankin County, the state’s heaviest Republican voting county, and