Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Sid Salter: Familiar Democrat Echoes Heard in Presley's Challenge to Reeves

 In a Jan. 12 email announcing that he is challenging incumbent Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves for the state’s top job, Democratic Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley said in the final paragraph: “If you make me your Governor, I promise you this: I’ll never forget who I am, where I came from, or who sent me.”

Attached to the email was one of the better professionally produced political branding videos Mississippi voters have ever received, a message that seeks to tell Presley’s story in a way that lays out his values, vision and reasons for seeking the job.

Presley’s promise – “I’ll never forget who I am, where I came from, or who sent me” – is a familiar one that has been used in the past by other politicians – both here in Mississippi and nationally.

Thirty-five years ago, in 1988, that exact pledge was the campaign slogan of former Democratic Fourth District Congressman Wayne Dowdy of McComb when he made a bid to succeed then-U.S. Sen. John C. Stennis, D-DeKalb, in a general election battle with then-Republican Fifth District Congressman Trent Lott of Pascagoula. Lott won that contest with just under 54 percent of the vote.

That year, Lott was unopposed in the GOP primary while Dowdy had a tough Democratic primary battle with Dick Molpus. The general election race featured the more polished, buttoned-down Lott against a pure populist in radio station mogul and attorney Dowdy.

Christian Science Monitor writer Marshall Ingwerson observed: “Mr. Lott, the Republican from growing coastal Mississippi, is brassy and gregarious, backslapping his way through Kiwanis luncheons and chamber of commerce speeches, telling old jokes well. Mr. Dowdy, lean and slightly rumpled, is a mild, earnest, deep-country sort (and a wealthy radio station owner) – Abe Lincoln played by Jimmy Stewart.”

The 2023 Presley campaign slogan was also famously used – and it was again the exact rhetoric Presley in his announcement - in the 1990 Oregon U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield and his Democratic challenger Harry Lonsdale. Lonsdale, a wealthy scientist and businessman, was a pro-abortion atheist who would make three failed bids for the U.S. Senate from Oregon. The GOP’s Hatfield turned back Democrat Lonsdale’s challenge.

Slogans aside, Presley is a formidable candidate for Mississippi Democrats. He is smart, hard-working and one of the best remaining populist political orators. He would be about as comfortable behind a pulpit as he is on the political stump, and he’s spent his life preparing for a statewide political opportunity.

That said, Presley faces any number of roadblocks and obstacles. Reeves has amassed a substantial campaign war chest well north of $5 million and can rather easily raise more. Reeves can turn on the fundraising taps within the GOP framework and also from the state’s business and industrial community.

The track record of the national Democratic Party supporting its own nominees financially in statewide races rather speaks for itself. While having an incumbent Democrat in the White House may help Presley’s bid, the ability to fundraise at this level and to successfully finance and operate a statewide campaign is an untested skill set for Presley – whose races have been municipal or sectional.

The best-known and best-financed Mississippi Democrat to run for governor since former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove in 1999 was former Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who lost to Reeves by 5.1 percent in 2019. Even then, Hood was at a substantial campaign finance disadvantage.

Reeves has been running and winning statewide elections in Mississippi since 2003. The upcoming campaign will mark his 6thconsecutive statewide election and statewide voters have consistently returned him to office.

The primary question for Reeves going into 2023 is, in fact, the primaries. Will the governor face a challenge in the GOP primaries and what impact would a challenge have on his current campaign finance, name ID and incumbency advantages?


Anonymous said...

Apparently where he came from was living in his parents' house for his entire life, never having to make a house payment or a rent payment. And proud that he had his electricity cut off. That's who he is.

Anonymous said...

Presley’s odds of beating Tate are slightly lower than mine, and I left Mississippi 3 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Bennie Thompson endorsement....say NO more.

Anonymous said...

9:48 am, that's hardly " the whole truth and nothing but"...He did go to college ,after all, and you didn't mention that he lives with his widowed mother in that house.
You think he should leave her there alone and not take care of the home and property but get himself a fancier new dwelling and let his mother fend for herself?
Geez, you are another making the GOP look like the party or a**holes and crazies. As a conservative ,you are just as embarrassing the rest of us.
How about sticking to the differences in policy issues and proposals for improvements?
Too wedded to negativity and your insecurities to do that?

Anonymous said...

9:48 Most of y'all do that now. Especially in Flowood.

Anonymous said...

At this point his only hope is to get people to forget who he is: Democrat, and who will send him: mostly Democrats. In a Mississippi statewide election that's all that counts. The fact that Tater is a dunce won't matter.

Anonymous said...

Another day, another regurgitated Wikipedia article by Sid Salter.

Anonymous said...

This is a joke. No one wants a Democrat in charge as bad as the GOP can be sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think I'd rather have a governor who had his lights cut off than one who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth.

Anonymous said...

not a chance. this one is already in the bag.

Anonymous said...

Reeves' five million and the 'ability to raise more', is chicken feed when compared to the national democrat machine.

Reeves, like Biden in another year, had better scramble and figure out a way to avoid debate, unless he can get Haley to miniaturize himself and sit atop his shoulder.

Anonymous said...

Well, lemme see here. Presley will get every democrat vote, at least half the so called independent vote and an awful lot of so-called republicans don't like Reeves. Some even detest him.

Odds? Reeves -3.

Anonymous said...

The fix is in, MS GOP will steal the elections and build more volleyball courts with y’all’s money.

I’m a sovereign citizen and don’t pay taxes, so whatever y’all can have it.

Anonymous said...

I don’t know Mr. Presley but urge caution when underestimating his chance of winning. There are more, disgruntled GOP voters than one may suspect.
I’ll consider Presley. Yes, I understand the national implications and right now just considering but I’m tired of weak placeholders in the GOP.

Anonymous said...

Salter probably went through 3 keyboards typing this article. He was salivating so much at the thought of a Democrat in the governor's office, the moisture ruined the keyboards.

Anonymous said...

Kim Jung Tater is the worst ever. Brandon Presley is a decent alternative. I’ll wait to see who else runs.

Anonymous said...

You need Presley for Medicare expansion. That the only thing that’s going to stabilize the states finances and allow it to proper. Get that done then y’all can continue to elect republicans .

Anonymous said...

Not one single policy difference was mentioned. I don't doubt it is all about the money but I just wished the race would be more about who has the best ideas. Our state is not well.

Unknown said...

@9:43pm - Naw, just keep sending us those sweet sweet ARPA slush funds.

Do You Qualify For An Extended Warranter On Your Weed eater? said...

Presley has solved our robo-calls problem so it only makes sense that he seek higher office. What's wrong with that sentence?

Anonymous said...

January 18, 2023 at 9:43 PM, I have no idea how you inserted so much ignorance into so little space.

If no one has noticed, the federal government is in poor shape, financially. It would be foolish to base an increase of the financial stability of the state from future federal assistance.

Anonymous said...

January 19, 2023 at 2:51 AM, everything is right with that sentence, except the part that starts with Presley, and stops with the period.

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