Editorial: If money talks, here's what it really saysBy STAFF REPORTS,
Money may not be everything, but in politics it sure means a lot. And if money is used as a measuring stick in this year’s elections, it points to Tate Reeves winning the governor’s race and Delbert Hosemann succeeding Reeves as lieutenant governor.
According to The Associated Press, Reeves is by far the leading fundraiser among candidates running for governor. At the end of April he had three campaign funds holding a total of $6.7 million.
His Republican primary opponent, former state Supreme Court chief justice Bill Waller Jr., had raised only $582,000 through April and reported $513,000 on hand.
Jim Hood, the attorney general who is the leading Democratic candidate for governor, also trails Reeves in finances. Hood reported about $1.2 million in cash on hand in April.
In the lieutenant governor’s race, Hosemann has an advantage similar to Reeves’.
Hosemann, currently the secretary of state, reported $2.7 million in cash at the end of April. His main opponent, Rep. Jay Hughes, D-Oxford, has only $162,000 on hand. Hughes has raised a total of $806,000 — including a big chunk of his own money — and already has spent $644,000.
If the money’s a reliable signal, it’s saying that Reeves will beat Waller in the primary and then beat Hood in the general election. It’s also saying that Hosemann will beat Hughes for the lieutenant governor’s job.
It’s too early to predict those results with great confidence. Reeves and Hosemann have the finances, the name recognition and the Republican pedigrees, but they still have to turn all that into votes this fall. However, it is impossible to overlook their financial advantages.
There’s at least one race that, based on the financial reports, appears to be a close one: attorney general.
It seems likely that the winner will come from three Republican candidates: Rep. Mark Baker of Brandon, State Treasurer Lynn Fitch and attorney Andy Taggart. This in itself is a bit of a surprise, since Hood and his predecessor Mike Moore have held the seat for Democrats since the 1980s.
Baker had $368,000 cash at the end of April. Fitch had $415,000 and Taggart had $223,000. When it comes to finances, nobody has a distinct advantage. This primary could be one of the state’s most interesting in 2019.