Jim Hood

Jim Hood, the Democratic candidate for governor in Mississippi, answers a question from a reporter Monday on the lawn of the Leflore County Courthouse. Looking on is Hood's wife, Debbie, who joined him for several campaign stops in the Delta on the eve of Tuesday's general election.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Hood says he’s hopeful that a significant number of Republican voters will cross party lines to cast ballots for him Tuesday because they agree with his agenda for Mississippi and not with that of his GOP opponent, Tate Reeves.

“I think a lot of them will vote for me and vote for me quietly,” Hood said during a press conference on the lawn of the Leflore County Courthouse Monday. Referring to his 16 years as state attorney general, Hood said, “They are going to do what is best for Mississippi.”

Hood and his wife, Debbie, were visiting towns and neighborhoods in the Delta, including Itta Bena, a campaign staffer said.

Hood said he’s heard from many Republicans, including some in the Legislature who urged him to run for governor, who say they’ll vote for him because they agree with his objectives: more support for education including teacher pay raises; Medicaid expansion, in part to help save rural hospitals; and increased state funding for roads and bridges, among others.

Hood said, “My opponent hasn’t done a thing in eight years, and people know that.”

Reeves has served as lieutenant governor for the past two terms and before that for two terms as state treasurer.

“People want to see some change,” Hood  said.”They know I will govern for both Republicans and Democrats.”  He also said he would bring members of both parties into his administration.

While he can’t affect partisan gridlock in the “woods” of Washington, Hood said, he can “drain the swamp down here in Mississippi.” He noted that the Legislature will be “conservative” but he and the two candidates for lieutenant governor, Democrat Jay Hughes and Republican Delbert Hosemann, agree on the issues.

“People want to see us do more on education,” he said, later observing that investing in kindergarten for 4-year-olds makes sense because “4K education is the best money a state can spend for economic development.”

Mississippi’s 1890 constitution requires a statewide candidate to win not only a majority of the popular vote but also a majority of the vote in each of the 122 House districts. Failure to clear both hurdles, under current state law, would result in the contest being decided in the House of Representatives.

Polls are showing Reeves and Hood in a tight race. Hood said he’s confident he will receive 50 percent of the popular vote and is aiming for at least 54 percent, which he believes will bring at least 62 state House districts, the number required for a majority, along with it. If the percentage falls between those numbers, a federal judge has signaled he would be willing to intervene, Hood said.

nContact Susan Montgomery at 581-7233 or smontgomery@gwcommonwealth.com.

Hood said, “My opponent hasn’t done a thing in eight years, and people know that.”

Reeves has served as lieutenant governor for the past two terms and before that for two terms as state treasurer.

“People want to see some change,” Hood  said.”They know I will govern for both Republicans and Democrats.”  He also said he would bring members of both parties into his administration.

While he can’t affect partisan gridlock in the “woods” of Washington, Hood said, he can “drain the swamp down here in Mississippi.” He noted that the Legislature will be “conservative” but he and the two candidates for lieutenant governor, Democrat Jay Hughes and Republican Delbert Hosemann, agree on the issues.

“People want to see us do more on education,” he said, later observing that investing in kindergarten for 4-year-olds makes sense because “4K education is the best money a state can spend for economic development.”

Mississippi’s 1890 constitution requires a statewide candidate to win not only a majority of the popular vote but also a majority of the vote in each of the 122 House districts. Failure to clear both hurdles, under current state law, would result in the contest being decided in the House of Representatives.

Polls are showing Reeves and Hood in a tight race. Hood said he’s confident he will receive 50 percent of the popular vote and is aiming for at least 54 percent, which he believes will bring at least 62 state House districts, the number required for a majority, along with it. If the percentage falls between those numbers, a federal judge has signaled he would be willing to intervene, Hood said.

Contact Susan Montgomery at 581-7233 or smontgomery@gwcommonwealth.com.

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