Staff for former Chief Justice Bill Waller confirmed he will not endorse Tate Reeves, the republican nominee for Governor in November.
Waller stopped short of throwing support his way on election night but told voters it was important for Republicans to pull together. The party is experiencing it’s biggest division since they first put a statewide elected leader in office back in 1992 with then-Governor Kirk Fordice.
The gap between far-right conservatives with a no-tax mentality and those who are willing to acknowledge the state has serious infrastructure issues is large. But the state party and other national third party groups which fund campaigns has made both Trump and taxation a “die-in-the-ditch” battle.
Runoff ads took on a negative tone and Reeves went out of his way to paint Waller as a liberal.
However, senior advisors say Reeves stance on policy, or lack thereof, and not the tenor of the race is why Waller ultimately decided not to endorse.
The elder statesman said he ran because he didn’t believe Tate Reeves had any substantive solutions to issues facing the state. Staff says his position on that issue has not changed.
Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement, “It is certainly disappointing for anyone who claims to be a Republican not to have the ability to overcome the trials of a political campaign and endorse the Republican nominee selected by the voters.”
WJTV reached out to Waller directly for comment, we have not heard back from him.