Democratic Governor nominee Presley speaks to Coahoma County residents



By Josh Troy
Clarksdale Advocate

Mississippi Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Brandon Presley told the audience that his incumbent opponent would not care about Coahoma County when speaking at Chapel Hill Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday morning.

Presley, the Public Service Commissioner for the Northern District of Mississippi for 16 years, is facing off against Republican nominee and current Gov. Tate Reeves in the Nov. 7 general election.

Coahoma County Democratic Party Chair Ray Sykes introduced Presley. Sykes reflected on when Presley was in Coahoma County several years ago to hear about concerns related to Clarksdale Public Utilities.

“I’m going to introduce him as our next Governor of Mississippi,” said Sykes as the room lit up with applause.

Presley opened by thanking Coahoma County residents for coming to hear him speak and introduced his wife of less than three weeks, Katelyn.

“I’m proud to stand here as the Democratic nominee for Governor and, with your help, we’re going to beat Tate Reeves on November 7th,” Presley said. “A breath of fresh air in State Government.”

Presley said he entered the race for two reasons. One was to expand Medicaid and save hospitals, and the other was to clean up corruption.

If elected, Presley said he would work to expand Medicaid on Day 1, work to save hospitals, and give working people a chance to have healthcare.

Presley mentioned Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center, which recently avoided closure and is in the transition process to be locally run.

“Our hospitals are suffering,” he said. “This Governor wants to act as though we don’t have a hospital crisis in Mississippi.”

On the issue of cleaning up corruption, Presley mentioned long-time NFL quarterback Brett Favre, who spent the vast majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers and played for Southern Mississippi.

“You all have seen where Brett Favre was able to get $5 million for a volleyball court, taken from funds aimed at working families and people that are struggling,” said Presley, calling it “morally wrong.”

Presley talked about what he believed were Reeves’ connections in situations similar to Favre’s.

“Tate Reeves inspired, according to the guy that’s going to spend 34 years in the penitentiary for this scandal, he said that Tate Reeves inspired him to give $1,300,000 to Tate Reeves’ gym training,” Presley said.

“The list goes on and on and on. You and I know, whether you look at the Delta or the hills where I’m from, South Mississippi, the Coast, you name it, State Government in Mississippi is bought and sold to the highest bidder for the most cash. That’s all we’ve got.”

Presley then claimed Reeves was not concerned about Coahoma County.

“You’ve got a Governor that’s not going to show up in Coahoma County because he’s not going to care about Coahoma County,” Presley said. “I believe that as the Governor, you ought to show up in places that vote for you and don’t vote for you. You ought to be a Governor for all the people.”

Presley said that if elected Governor, he would be concerned about all Mississippi residents – black, white, and in all 82 counties.

“I will be the Governor that understands the economic health of the Mississippi Delta is tied to the economic health of the entire State, and the entire State’s economic health is tied to the health of the economy of the Mississippi Delta,” he said.

Presley said that one hour after he filed to run for Governor, US Rep. Bennie Thompson, whose district includes Coahoma County, endorsed him.

“That’s the first time he’s ever done that in the Governor’s race, and I appreciate his support,” Presley said.

For Presley to be elected, he said Coahoma County residents must get out and vote.

“If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to gripe,” he said.

Presley said that as Governor, he intends to right wrongs and called Reeves the “divider-in-chief.”

“You and I, as black Mississippians and white Mississippians, have been intentionally and purposefully divided in this state for economic and political power,” Presley said.

Presley said Mississippi is 50th in many categories that are meant to be positive and No. 1 in many categories meant to be negative. He added that he understands the concerns of Mississippi residents who are struggling economically.

“My dad was murdered the first day I was in the third grade,” Presley said. “My mom couldn’t afford to pay the power bill. We got our lights cut off. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m proud of it in the sense that it made me a survivor, and it allows me to understand where so many of our people are that Tate Reeves doesn’t get.”

After speaking, Presley took questions from the audience.

In response to one question, Presley said he does not support children having sex changes.

“I do not support minors undergoing gender surgery,” Presley said. “I do not support boys playing girls’ sports. And that law is settled in Mississippi and settled in my mind.”

Presley accused Reeves of running an ad with half-truths about his position on children having sex changes to distract people from the issues.

“He’s like every crooked politician you’ve ever met,” Presley said.

“Tate Reeves’ ad is a bald-faced lie, and he is a bald-faced liar.”



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