Democrat Brandon Presley outraised incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves at least 4-to-1 over the last three months, campaign finance reports filed on Tuesday showed.
And the two gubernatorial candidates in this year’s campaign have gone toe-to-toe with spending, each at nearly $7 million for their races to date, the reports also showed.
Presley’s large haul is thanks primarily to the national Democratic Governor’s Association donating nearly $3 million to his campaign. The DGA had previously contributed $750,000 to Presley’s campaign. The donations signify the national Democratic Party’s interest in the race, with the DGA in a press release saying Reeves is “deeply unpopular and vulnerable.”
The Democratic candidate’s campaign reported raising $4.4 million from July 30 to September 30. But Reeves’ new report covered the period from July 1 through September. During that period, Presley raised over $5.6 million — leading Reeves’ fundraising by 5-to-1.
“With these strong fundraising numbers, our campaign has the momentum to send Tate Reeves packing so we can expand Medicaid on day one, tackle corruption head on, and cut taxes for Mississippi families,” Presley campaign manager Ron Owens said in a statement.
Reeves, on the other hand, raised over $1.6 million over the last three months, with his largest contribution of $100,000 coming from Centene, a St. Louis-based managed care company that does business with the state’s Medicaid agency.
Reeves in a social media post on Tuesday did not address his own campaign numbers, but criticized Presley for accepting money from the DGA, an organization he called a “liberal Washington D.C. PAC.”
“Ask yourself: why are they dropping historic money on Mississippi to flip it blue?” Reeves wrote. “It’s because they know Brandon Presley will govern like a liberal democrat.”
Going into the homestretch before the Nov. 7 election, Reeves has more than $6 million in campaign cash — nearly $2 million of it in a “legacy” account that he could cash in and use personally, grandfathered under old, lax state laws. Presley has only $1.8 million cash on hand in his latest report.
Another noteworthy campaign report filed Tuesday was incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann’s. Although his general race challenger, little-known Hattiesburg businessman D. Ryan Grover, is not expected to be competitive, Hosemann’s report showed he had to spend millions this summer fending off a primary challenge from Republican Chris McDaniel.
Hosemann spent $5.5 million for the primary, a record for a Mississippi lieutenant governor’s race. McDaniel’s campaign was helped by millions of dollars of out-of-state dark money spending, some of which is allegedly still being scrutinized by authorities.
Candidates are required file one last campaign finance report on Oct. 31 before the general election on Nov. 7.