TUPELO • Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves joined President Donald Trump on stage Friday inside the BancorpSouth Arena during Trump’s “Keep America Great” rally, which comes just four days before the state’s election for governor.
During the rally, Trump encouraged the thousands of supporters in the arena to cast their vote for Reeves on Tuesday’s election saying Reeves is “pro-jobs, pro-family and pro-life.”
“Tate Reeves will support our police,” Trump said of Reeves. “We love our police, right?” He’ll oppose sanctuary cities, which are terrible. They’re terrible.”
Trump passionately told the rally attendees not to vote for Reeves’ Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jim Hood, who is a native of Northeast Mississippi. Trump said if Mississippians elect Hood, he will raise taxes and support illegal immigration. He also said Hood was supported by “leftist extremists.”
“He opposed our travel ban, which is so important that we won in the United States Supreme Court,” Trump said of Hood.
While joining Trump on stage, Reeves reiterated many of the same remarks Trump made by saying Hood has continuously “stood with the liberals.”
“These radical liberals have been trying to remove our president from office since the very day he was sworn in,” Reeves said. “They have disrespected him and that means they have disrespected us. Jim Hood does not stand with our president. He stands with the radical liberals. When the radical liberals tried to stop the president on border security, Jim Hood stood with the liberals.”
Kayleigh McEnany, the national press secretary for the Trump campaign, told the Daily Journal by phone before the rally that the president decided to host the rally in Tupelo and endorse Reeves because “we need Republican allies and Trump allies.”
When asked if it concerns the campaign that the vice president, the president’s son, and the president are making trips to Mississippi to campaign for Reeves, McEnany told the Daily Journal it was a good thing that the campaign has “great surrogates” that will campaign for Reeves.
“We are taking nothing for granted,” McEnany said of the race.
Trump’s endorsement comes hours after Reeves’ Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jim Hood, convened a press conference near the Lee County Courthouse, where Hood condemned Reeves’ legacy the past eight years as the leader of the Mississippi State Senate.
Despite Trump coming to Tupelo to endorse Reeves, Hood repeatedly told reporters he was confident that he has the support of voters in the state.
“The people up here at home will stick with me,” Hood said. “They know what I’ve done. They’ve seen my record for 16 years as attorney general, and eight as a district attorney. They know I’m a moderate. I’m going to get things done. They know nothing crazy is going to come through that legislature. It’s going to be a conservative legislature.”
Hood was joined at the press conference by Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton, also a Democrat, where Shelton offered his support of Hood.
Shelton previously wrote a letter to the White House asking to officially greet the president to the All-America City.
“On behalf of our great city, I would respectfully request the opportunity to officially greet you when you arrive or depart from the Tupelo Regional Airport or when you arrive at or depart from the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo,” Shelton wrote in early October.
Shelton told the Daily Journal after the press conference that his request to meet with Trump was formally denied by the White House and is something that Shelton has no control over.
“I’ll be there in the arena in my official capacity as mayor,” Shelton told the Daily Journal.
Shelton later confirmed through a press release that he was at the arena in his official capacity as mayor to help the event run smoothly.
Trump’s rally in Mississippi is a part of three total rallies he is hosting in where he will endorse Republican candidates for governor. In addition to the Mississippi rally, Trump is also holding events in Kentucky and Louisiana. Each of the gubernatorial elections in the three states have serious Democratic candidates. Trump won all three of the states in the 2016 election.
Mississippians will head to the polls on Tuesday to cast their votes for governor and other statewide races on the ballot.