Gubernatorial candidates take the stage in fiery debate

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WJTV)–The two major candidates in the governor’s race took the stage in a live, firey debate at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Attorney General Jim Hood
did not hold back with each attack.

A fire ignited with the first question. It focused on an investigation into a frontage road project that would connect republican Tate Reeves’s subdivision to a shopping center.

Jim Hood: “You said you had nothing to do with it and in fact, that is not true. Would you admit to that?”
Tate Reeves: “The attorney general abused his power investigating a political opponent. Even the Greenwood Commonwealth
who is no political ally of mine has said so and I think the people of Mississippi know it.”

The candidates both agree on fixing roads and bridges without raising taxes, and increasing teacher pay. There were plenty of sparks as they got to the heart of the issues.

Tate Reeves: “It so happens that $1,500 pay raise that we propose next year would cost 78 million dollars so we actually have
the money in the bank to pay for it.”
Jim Hood: “He’s actually taking credit for money I brought in, the internet sales tax. We as attorneys general. That’s where those
revenues are coming from.”
Tate Reeves: “We’ve cut taxes with the largest tax revenue in the history of Mississippi. The reason why our revenues are growing
is because our economy is growing and that’s why we see increased revenue.”

Some say the search process wasn’t transparent in the hiring of Glenn Boyce as chancellor of the University of Mississippi, but that topic took a different
turn.

The debate was wrapping up but the fight was clearly not over, when a question was asked from a student as to what they respect about each other.

Tate Reeves: “The attorney general accepted a million dollars from the democrat governors association that’s the liberals
that run the state of California and New York and if you want a liberal to run Mississippi, he’s your guy.”
Jim Hood: “He got a million dollars from the republican governors association. He did.”

Jim Hood: “What I respect about him most is that he knows how to raise a lot of campaign money.”

Moderator: Fifteen seconds to respond to that.

Tate Reeves: “The reality is the reason we’ve been successful in raising campaign money because the business community is scared to death of having a trial lawyer as our governor.”

This is the first time the two have faced each other in a debate.

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