Reeves launches 2019 governor bid, vows to fight ‘liberal ideas’ of Hood’s Democratic Party


Rogelio V. Solis / Associated PressFlanked by his wife, Elee Reeves, second from left, daughters Maddie, left, Emma, second from right and Tyler, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves announces his candidacy for governor, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, at the state GOP headquarters in Jackson, Miss., ending months of speculation about his plans. 
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, long considered the Republican heir apparent to the Governor’s Mansion, filed qualifying paperwork on Thursday, making his 2019 gubernatorial candidacy official.
Reeves, 44, has spent years teasing the bid and building a campaign war chest as current Gov. Phil Bryant has approached his term limit. The second-term lieutenant governor had $5.4 million on hand by January 2018, the last time finance reports published. The Democratic front-runner, Attorney General Jim Hood, had raised just $656,000 by the same month.
“I am an eternal optimist, and I will run an optimistic campaign,” Reeves said Thursday in his announcement speech at the GOP headquarters in Jackson. “A campaign that focuses on results and solutions for Mississippi’s future, and a campaign that always protects the taxpayers and always protects our Mississippi values.”
With a quick ascent to political power in Mississippi, Reeves has been viewed a political wunderkind: He was first elected state treasurer in 2003, when he was a 29-year-old portfolio manager at Trustmark Bank. After serving two terms as treasurer, he was elected lieutenant governor in 2011, knocking off former state Sen. Billy Hewes in the Republican primary and coasting to victory in the general election.
Reeves, a native of Florence and resident of Flowood, has built his political career on his fiscally conservative policy. Since he began presiding over the Senate in 2012, Reeves has spearheaded more than 50 tax cuts or incentive packages — a majority of which have benefited out-of-state corporations.
He’s brought scrutiny on how state agencies can spend