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The Latest: Gas tax and Medicaid divide GOP candidates

July 24, 2019

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a debate by the three Republican candidates for Mississippi governor (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

Mississippi Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves says if he becomes governor, he will continue to oppose increasing the gasoline tax to pay for highways and will continue to oppose Medicaid expansion.

During a debate among the three Republican candidates for governor Tuesday night, Reeves split with state Rep. Robert Foster and former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. on those issues.

Foster says he would consider a gas tax increase if Mississippi erases its personal income tax. Waller says a gas tax is paid by people who use the roads, and the roads need repair.

On Medicaid, Waller says he’d push a plan like Vice President Mike Pence did as governor of Indiana, allowing people to buy coverage.

Foster says he’s willing to look at all options

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4:45 p.m.

Mississippi residents are getting a chance to hear a debate among the three Republicans running for governor.

The one-hour program begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the WJTV television studio in Jackson. It is airing on statewide TV, radio and online.

Former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. and state Rep. Robert Foster have already debated. This will be the first time for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves to participate.

Reeves has raised more money than anyone in the race, followed by Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood.

Eight candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination, and Hood is not debating the others.

Party primaries are Aug. 6. If runoffs are needed, they are Aug. 27. The general election is Nov. 5.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant couldn’t seek a third term.

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