Gov. Tate Reeves pauses during applause as he delivers his State of the State Address from the south steps of the State Capitol in Jackson, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022.

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Incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves has an overwhelming campaign finance advantage over people who have been rumored as potential challengers to his 2023 re-election bid, just as he did at the same time four years ago.

In the annual 2017 campaign finance report released in January 2018, Reeves had $5.4 million in cash on hand. In the 2021 annual report filed earlier this week with Secretary of State’s Michael Watson’s office, Reeves has $4.8 million in cash on hand.

This time four years ago, then-Attorney General Jim Hood, the Democrat who ran unsuccessfully against Reeves in the November 2019 November general election, had $656,393 in cash on hand, according to the Secretary of State’s web site.

This year Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley of Nettleton has been mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate against the Republican incumbent. Presley has $520,000 in cash on hand.

As far as potential Republicans who might challenge Reeves in a party primary, House Speaker Philip Gunn has $1.03 million in cash on hand.

In 2019, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice William Waller Jr. challenged Reeves in the Republican primary and forced a runoff. Four years ago in 2018, Waller was not raising funds for a potential gubernatorial bid.

Gov. Tate Reeves

Contributions: $2.4 million

Cash on hand: $2.9 million

Reeves’ legacy account: This account is grandfathered under state’s former, more lax campaign finance laws and candidates who keep a separate accounting of their old accounts can “cash in” and keep the money when they leave office. Reeves has “loaned” his new account money from his old account.

Raised $8,000 (in interest)

Cash on hand: $1.9 million

House Speaker Philip Gunn

Contributions: $655,000

Cash on hand: $1.03 million

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann

Contributions: $1.23 million

Cash on hand: $2.6 million

Attorney General Lynn Fitch

Contributions: $639,000

Cash on hand: $556,000

Auditor Shad White

Contributions: $395,000

Cash on hand: $603,000

Secretary of State Michael Watson

Contributions: $394,000

Cash on hand: $351,000

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney

Contributions: $13 (interest)

Cash on hand: $105,000

Treasurer David McRae

Contributions: $62,000

Cash on hand: $60,000

PSC Commissioner Brandon Presley

Contributions: $474,000

Cash on hand: $520,000

PSC Commissioner Brent Bailey

Contributions: $15,650

Cash on hand: $15,900

PSC Commissioner Dane Maxwell

Contributions: $11,500

Cash on hand: $228


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Geoff Pender serves as senior political reporter, working closely with Mississippi Today leadership on editorial strategy and investigations. Pender brings 30 years of political and government reporting experience to Mississippi Today. He was political and investigative editor at the Clarion Ledger, where he also penned a popular political column. He previously served as an investigative reporter and political editor at the Sun Herald, where he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team for Hurricane Katrina coverage. Originally from Florence, Mississippi, Pender is a journalism graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and has received numerous awards throughout his career for reporting, columns and freedom of information efforts.

Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column.