GOP race for Mississippi governor a close call on election day

GOP race for Mississippi governor a close call on election day
(L-R) Tate Reeves, Bill Waller, and Robert Foster (Source: WMC Action News 5)

JACKSON, Miss. (WMC) - Tuesday is Election Day in Mississippi. It’s the state’s primary election, and the most-watched race is the Republican primary for governor.

For most of campaign season, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves appeared to be the front runner, but controversial statements that made national headlines by another candidate may take the race to a runoff.

In Mississippi, a candidate must get 50 percent or more of the vote to be declared a winner, or else the race goes to a runoff.

Reeves, former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller and Hernando state rep. Robert Foster are all trying to get the Republican nomination for Mississippi's governor.

A few weeks ago, Foster made national headlines when he said he would not work with a female reporter unless she had a male colleague accompany her. He explained that his religious beliefs guided his decision.

Reeves has the support of outgoing governor Phil Bryant.

The governor's office isn't foreign to Waller, as his father served as state governor in the 1970s.

WMC Political Analyst Mike Nelson said this is the race to watch.

"August is not usually the time people are thinking about going out and voting in an election," Nelson said. "It's the worst time if you want a high turnout, but the republican gubernatorial primary has generated a lot of interest."

A potential runoff election would be Aug. 27. Whoever gets the nomination will face the winner of the Democratic party.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.