JACKSON, Miss. – The SPLC Action Fund today endorsed Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley in the Mississippi governor’s race.
According to recent polling, Presley, a Democrat, leads embattled Gov. Tate Reeves in a head-to-head matchup. A majority of Mississippi voters are unhappy with the governor’s tenure and believe the state is on the wrong track, and are disappointed with his role in state corruption, including the recent $77 million TANF scandal.
“For decades, we have been on the ground in Mississippi working on many of the issues communities of color face because of systemic oppression. The time is now for real change to come to the state,” said Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the SPLC Action Fund. “We are proud to endorse Brandon Presley in his efforts to represent all Mississippians by bringing much-needed reforms to state government while restoring and expanding the rights and opportunities so important to all communities.”
Presley has committed to restoring Mississippians’ right to petition and vote on ballot initiatives, making voting easier and more accessible, expanding Medicaid and working to transform the state’s criminal legal system, which disproportionately harms Black and Brown Mississippians, women and lower income individuals.
“The only candidate for Governor who truly understands the needs of Mississippians is Brandon Presley,” said Charles V. Taylor Jr., who serves on the board of the SPLC Action Fund. “I am confident that he will fight for rural hospitals, for teachers and their students and for new jobs. The bottom line is – a vote for Presley is a vote for a better Mississippi.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Reeves has served in Mississippi’s executive branch during the most corrupt period in the state’s recent history. In addition to people with connections to Reeves receiving TANF funds, including his fitness trainer, he has effectively blocked any state-level investigation or efforts to prevent future abuse. He also has blocked even allowing debate on the state’s Medicaid program, which provides health care for the working poor and supports health care infrastructure.
“The Reeves administration has been a nightmare, especially for the state’s Black and Brown communities. There is no doubt that Presley will be a true change agent by seeing through his commitments to address the inequities riddled throughout Mississippi state government. And, when he is elected, we will hold him accountable to those commitments,” Huang said.
The SPLC Action Fund is focused on lifting up communities of color, particularly in the Deep South, who face systemic oppression, poverty and structural racism. To overcome these injustices, the organization is committed to reimagining the political, economic and social systems that sustain them to create a world where all people can thrive.
In pursuit of this bold agenda, the SPLC Action Fund supports candidates who share its commitment to addressing the deep inequities that plague our nation.