Two lt. gov candidates trade barbs at press meeting

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

BILOXI — The two Republican candidates for lieutenant governor are exchanging jabs over each other’s records.

State Sen. Billy Hewes of Gulfport and Treasurer Tate Reeves of Flowood spoke Saturday at the Mississippi Press Association convention in Biloxi.

Hewes has been in the Senate nearly 20 years. The 49-year-old says he was serving in the Legislature in the 1990s while “Tate was still in school.”

Reeves, who’s 37, says the next lieutenant governor needs to come from outside the Legislature. Reeves says the state debt increased significantly the first 12 years Hewes was in the Senate, but the rate of growth slowed since Reeves became treasurer.

Hewes says the growth in debt slowed because Republicans took over the Senate majority.

Party primaries are Aug. 2.

No Democrat is running for lieutenant governor.