Democratic gubernatorial challenger Brandon Presley, with wife Katelyn by his side, concedes the race for governor before his supporters at his watch party held at the Faulkner Hotel in Jackson, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today

Democrat Brandon Presley’s first statewide campaign might not be his last.

Fresh off his Tuesday loss by less than 5% to incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, he did not rule out running again in 2027.

“I am not walking off the political stage,” he said when asked about whether he might run for governor again in 2027. He added it was too early to say definitively what his political future might be, but he added, “I see Tuesday as a bump in the road.”

Soon after Presley conceded to the incumbent Reeves on election night, he hinted that he might wage another effort at a statewide campaign.

With votes still being counted on Thursday afternoon, Presley currently trails the Republican incumbent 51.6% to 47.1% — or a margin of about 35,800 votes.

Presley entered this year’s gubernatorial election with limited name identification. His political experience consisted of four terms as the northern district public service commissioner. Before then, he served as mayor of Nettleton in northeast Mississippi.

Reeves will be completing his second term as governor in 2027 and will be ineligible to run again for governor. It is expected that more one of the current down-ticket statewide officials — all Republican — could seek the office of governor in 2027.

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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.