Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, the Republican nominee for Mississippi governor, loaned his campaign $1.3 million in the final days before the election where he is in a close race with Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood.
Campaign finance records show that Reeves loaned his campaign $300,000 on Oct. 21. A few days later on Oct. 31, five days before Election Day, Reeves loaned his campaign an additional $1 million, signing campaign finance filings with his home address in Flowood.
Tate Reeves campaign loan 10/31/19 (PDF)
Tate Reeves campaign loan 10/31/19 (Text)
Candidates for statewide office routinely loan their campaigns money in close races. The practice is legal. If Reeves were to win, he could pay back the loans with future donations to the same campaign account. If he were to lose, he could pay back the loans with leftover cash from the campaign account or take the loan as a personal loss.
The Reeves campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the loans.
Cash on hand in the waning days of a campaign is vital to a victory in a close race. Prognosticators believe Reeves and Hood are running within five points of each other, and last-minute targeted ads on television and social media are pricey.
So far this year, the Reeves campaign has spent at least $10.8 million, according to Oct. 29 pre-election campaign finance filings with the Secretary of State. Reeves’ $300,000 loan was included in that filing, but because the $1 million loan came after that October 29 filing, it was not included in that $10.8 million spending figure.
Hood has spent $5.2 million this year, less than half of Reeves’ total, according to campaign finance reports. Hood has not made a similar cash loan to his campaign this year.
Reeves also appears to be taking advantage