JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, Governor Phil Bryant will hand over the keys to his office to Governor-elect Tate Reeves.
“I’ve been in the government nearly 30 years. Never though I’d be there that long. I just kept getting re-elected. We’ve worked hard, very proud of many of the things that we’ve done,” said Bryant.
As a popular governor among surveys, Bryant said he has always been a regular Mississippian.
“I never thought being in a job like governor that you were any better than anyone else. I’ve always been respectful of the people in this building and the people of the state of Mississippi.”
Bryant said his biggest challenge during his time in office was moving Mississippi forward racially.
“There’s so many issues and problems across the state: systemic poverty that we just got out of, racism that existed until the 1970s, civil wars that are still lingering. Those things were so difficult to overcome, I hope we’ve moved forward.”
He said the legislative body looks like Mississippi. Bryant also said his crowning achievement was improving public education.
“We’re the highest graduation rates in Mississippi history. Our 4th grade in reading and math, leading the nation in reading and math and science and our 8th graders. So yeah, public education is so much better off today. And it’s not because of me, but it’s something that I concentrated on a great deal and worked really hard to help improve, and I think we are improving.”
His advice to the incoming lawmakers is to always serve the people first and understand the peoples’ concerns are everyone’s concerns.