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The Latest: Mississippi GOP governor primary goes to runoff

August 7, 2019
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Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a gubernatorial candidate, at podium, flanked by daughters Tyler Reeves, 14, left, and Emma Reeves, 12, congratulates his supporters during an appearance at his election watch party in Flowood, Miss., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Reeves was in the lead of his party primary. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
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Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a gubernatorial candidate, at podium, flanked by daughters Tyler Reeves, 14, left, and Emma Reeves, 12, congratulates his supporters during an appearance at his election watch party in Flowood, Miss., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Reeves was in the lead of his party primary. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on party primaries in the Mississippi governor’s race (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

After falling short of a majority needed to win the Republican nomination for Mississippi governor, the state’s two-term lieutenant governor, Tate Reeves, says he’s the only conservative in the race.

Reeves says Wednesday that his Aug. 27 runoff opponent, retired Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., has ideas similar to Democrats.

Waller promotes himself as a conservative who can win the November general election. He says Reeves has ignored big problems, including crumbling highways and low teacher pay.

Four-term Attorney General Jim Hood easily defeated seven low-budget candidates Tuesday to win the Democratic nomination for governor.

Republicans have held the Mississippi governorship 24 of the past 28 years. The current Republican governor, Phil Bryant, is term-limited.

Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana are the only states electing governors this year.

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6:14 a.m.

Fourth-term Attorney General Jim Hood has defeated seven rivals to become the Democratic nominee for Mississippi governor, while on the Republican side, second-term Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves faces a runoff in three weeks against former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr.

Hood hopes to break the grip Republicans have held on the governorship for 16 years in the conservative Southern state. He told The Associated Press after his primary victory Tuesday that “working folks” are “ready for change in Mississippi.”

Reeves missed a majority in the Republican primary despite being the chosen successor of term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant, and despite raising millions more than any of his GOP rivals. But Reeves says he’s “totally and completely confident” that he’ll win the runoff and “beat Jim Hood in November.”

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