Hours after the presidential race went to President Elect Donald Trump, ecstatic Mississippi Republican leaders called Wednesday for unity and healing.
“I ask all Mississippians who are either rejoicing or brooding today to take down your pride or disappointment and come together,” Gov. Phil Bryant said.
“Mississippi, like Donald Trump, has often been misunderstood,” the governor continued. “We’re seen only for our imperfections.”
“Today begins a new defining for this president elect and Mississippi,” Bryant said. “Let us go together forward.”
Bryant was joined by U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, Treasurer Lynn Fitch, GOP Chairman Joe Nosef and Trump Mississippi director Dane Maxwell at GOP headquarters in downtown Jackson. The officials praised Trump supporters for putting Donald Trump in position to lead the United States from the White House.
Bryant was a close surrogate of Trump during the campaign. Rumors have swirled that Bryant might be on Trump’s short list for Secretary of Agriculture. Bryant did not discredit those rumors Wednesday, though he said he does not expect to be considered.
The governor campaigned for the New York business mogul in several states, including key battleground states Florida and Pennsylvania the weekend before the election.
Republican insiders have said Bryant raised about $2 million for the Trump campaign in Mississippi alone.
Harper, who was re-elected to Congress Tuesday, expressed gratitude to voters and the state party for their help in securing both his victory and Trump’s. Harper, heading into his fourth two-year term, said he believes House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, will retain his position as Speaker, contrary to media reports.
“We have the opportunity to fix some of the mismanagement that was created by the Obama administration the last eight years,” Harper said.
Several officials at the press conference, including Harper, praised U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, who as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee helped to maintain the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. Bryant even suggested that Wicker be elected Senate majority leader.
Fitch, who served as head of Mississippi Women for Trump, said she expects Trump’s presidency to provide economic fruit to the state of Mississippi. Fitch also called for unity amongst the American people “because we move better together as a unified front than divisive.”
Nosef, who could not hold back wide smiles during the press conference, praised the work of Bryant, Maxwell and others, stating that the state party “is stronger today because of their work.”
“Mississippi now has left an indelible mark on this election,” Bryant said. “The president elect knows our state and her people. And there’s a potential to rise together, and in doing so, lifting his administration and this nation. President Elect Donald Trump knows Mississippi.”