By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Tate Reeves said Monday he wants to be Mississippi’s lieutenant governor to put more power in the hands of taxpayers.
“Mississippi is moving up, and it’s time for us to stand up and say so,” said Reeves, who’s wrapping up his second term as state treasurer.
Reeves, 36, came to Tupelo during an announcement tour, which began in his hometown, Florence. His wife, Elee, and their two young daughters were with him at the Hilton Garden Inn event.
Tupelo financial adviser Scott Reed introduced Reeves as “somebody I can trust,” who “understands the political process very well.”
Despite the dreary weather, more than a dozen Northeast Mississippi Republican leaders turned out to support Reeves, including Jack Reed Sr., Chancery Clerk Bill Benson, Sheriff Jim Johnson, Mike Armour and John Oxford.
Reeves’ competition will come in the Aug. 2 GOP primary against state Senate veteran Billy Hewes of Gulfport, who made his campaign announcement a few weeks ago.
Reeves will take his campaign to six other cities today and Wednesday.
Despite his nearly eight years in capital city politics, Reeves sought to stake a claim as a political outsider, saying “there are still people in Jackson who believe government can spend Mississippi’s money better than Mississippians – they want the insiders to win.
“The last thing they want is a watchdog.”
The lieutenant governor is the Senate’s presiding officer, and Reeves glossed over his lack of experience there.
“My focus is on keeping our financial house in order,” he said.
Reeves, who recently was president of the National Association of State Treasurers, touted his small-town rearing near Jackson, where he said he learned about life’s virtues and values.
He praised Gov. Haley Barbour for his desire “to make Mississippi a good place to do business.”
Reeves said his revamp of the treasurer’s office policies has saved state taxpayers millions.
“I’ve never shied away from a fight,” said Reeves, “and I’ve never become a creature of government.”
“There’s still a lot to do.”
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.