State Rep. Robert Foster of Hernando and former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. of Jackson accepted an invitation for the event at Mississippi State University in Starkville.
The candidate who has raised the most money in the race, Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves of Flowood, declined the invitation. His campaign spokesman, Parker Briden, originally said Reeves would be busy with the legislative session, where he presides over the state Senate. The session was scheduled to run through this week, but it ended Friday.
The debate’s sponsoring group, MSU College Republicans, said in a statement that it initially reached out to Reeves’ campaign staff in early February to discuss whether he would take part in a debate. After the university told the group what date the debate would happen, the club again contacted the Reeves campaign.
“We were told that he would not be able to attend due to the legislative session, but we continued to make preparations in case the session ended early and he was able to attend,” the club said Monday. “We contacted his office again on Friday to inquire about his availability, and he did not indicate that he’d be attending.”
Party primaries are Aug. 6, and the general election is Nov. 5.
The current governor, Republican Phil Bryant, cannot seek a third term.
Nine Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination for governor. The current attorney general, Jim Hood, has raised the most money among the Democrats.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info