The Democratic Governors Association announced Tuesday the organization is donating $750,000 to Brandon Presley’s campaign for governor, giving the Democratic candidate a boost in operating expenses as the bitter governor’s race heats up.
Meghan Meehan-Draper, the executive director of the DGA, said in a statement that the organization has a track record of unseating unpopular incumbent Republican governors in tough states like Kentucky, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
“As Brandon Presley continues to run a strong campaign and Mississippi families are bearing the burden of Tate Reeves’ costly grocery tax and car tag fees, corruption, and hospital closure crisis, we know there’s a real chance in Mississippi this year to once again defy the odds,” Meehan-Draper said.
The DGA’s investment mirrors a similar donation it made in 2019 to Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood’s campaign for governor, though that appears to have occurred later in the year compared to the current election cycle.
The organization donated $750,000 to Hood in September of that year and contributed $250,000 in October, according to the former attorney general’s campaign finance records. Reeves defeated Hood in the 2019 contest by 5%, making it the most competitive governor’s race since 2003.
“This race is competitive because Brandon Presley is gaining support from Republicans, Democrats, and independents who know he will cut taxes for Mississippi families, fight corruption, and end Tate Reeves’ hospital crisis once and for all and expand Medicaid,” Presley spokesperson Michael Beyer said in a statement.
For Presley to become the first Democratic governor since Ronnie Musgrove’s 1999 election, the four-term utility regulator will have to convince donors to invest in his attempt to oust a Republican governor from office in the Deep South.
But the Democratic candidate will likely face a brutal fundraising competition with Republican Gov. Tate Reeves’ reelection campaign.
The DGA’s conservative counterpart, the Republican Governor’s Association, through its Mississippi Strong political action committee, contributed $500,000 to Reeves’ campaign earlier this year. The RGA was also a major contributor to his 2019 bid for the Governor’s Mansion.
Reeves is expected to capture the GOP nomination for governor in the Aug. 8 primary. The winner of the party primary will compete against Presley, the only Democratic candidate in the race, in the Nov. 7 general election.