Meet candidates in tonight’s GOP debate


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)- In the months and final days leading up to the Mississippi GOP Gubernatorial Primary Election, three men have diligently campaigned, vying for the republican vote, in order to fight democrats for the state’s top leadership role as governor.

Tonight, they debate, live at WJTV 12 in the state’s capital.

Last week, WJTV 12 correspondents accompanied each candidate on their day-long campaign trails across the state, learning more about each man and what they say they’ll do for the people of Mississippi, amid failing education, economy, and infrastructure, among other concerns.

On Wednesday, WJTV 12’s Tara Thomas rode in the campaign truck of republican candidate St. Rep. Robert Foster. You can watch video from her report above.

Despite earlier uproar over Foster’s remark on his promise to his wife to not be alone with another woman in his vehicle, Thomas was granted access to the trail and sat in the backseat of his pickup throughout south Mississippi, while Foster’s campaign manager, Colton Robison, drove the truck.

Along their day-long journey to coffee shops and republican venues, Foster took on controversial questions, head-on, addressing things like the Delta tragedy, saying the government didn’t do enough for the people who are still forced out of their homes.

Other top concerns of Mississippians were things like a failing education system, the suffering economy, the right to own guns, too much state income tax and even ideals surrounding the state flag which depicts a symbol of the confederate battlefield. 

WJTV 12’s Marcus James followed republican candidate Miss. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, whose stops also included a coffee house and republican venues.

Along his trail Tuesday, Reeves emphasized his desire for job creation and changes within schools, repeatedly expressing he was confident he was the man for the job, mainly because of his years of experience and being the gubernatorial incumbent.

During his trail Tuesday, James reports that a Mississippi man told Reeves the state’s education is trash, to which Reeves replied that the man should run for superintendent, if he felt the district’s education system was lacking.

Gubernatorial candidate and retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. traveled to north Mississippi Thursday, taking with him WJTV 12’s Anthony Howard.

The men made stops in South Haven, Tupelo, and Oxford, where Waller Jr. met with DeSoto County officials at a Republican Women of DeSoto County event and later met with pastors in Oxford.

Waller Jr. says he has always been a “strong defender of the rule of law” and that he “consistently worked to reshape the court in a conservative direction, helped end lawsuit abuse and sought to repair the state’s judicial reputation to foster an attractive environment for economic growth.” 

His campaign slogan says “Problem solving, instead of petty politics- Public service, instead of self-interest.”

Watch the three videos above, for a look inside their campaign trails.

The highly-anticipated one-hour debate among the three men is taking place Tues., July 23 at 7 p.m.

Learn more about each man to make your decision for governor, as they face-off Tuesday!

The debate is at the WJTV-TV 12 (CBS) station in Jackson, but will also air on WHLT-TV (CBS), WFNA-TV (CW) and WBRL-CD (CW) as well as the Nexstar station serving the Memphis, TN market, in addition to select broadcast partners WMDN-TV (CBS), WCBI-TV (CBS), WXXV-TV (FOX/NBC) and SuperTalk Radio, which covers all 82 counties of the Magnolia State.

Viewers may also watch on live-stream, by visiting their local Nexstar station’s website.

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