Congratulations to Tate Reeves, who will take office in two months as Mississippi’s next governor. He worked hard to beat back a strong challenge from Jim Hood, and should be credited for keeping the seat in Republican hands when Kentucky’s incumbent GOP governor appears to have been defeated Tuesday night.
Reeves, as a two-term lieutenant governor, had a well-earned reputation for knowing how to throw his weight around in a powerful job. The argument can be made that even though voters promoted him Tuesday night, he will lose some of the direct power he once enjoyed.
As governor, Reeves will be able to veto anything he doesn’t like that comes out of the Legislature. But lawmakers can override vetoes. As lieutenant governor Reeves had the authority to kill any legislation he opposed.
His first assignment probably is to make sure that he, incoming lieutenant governor Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn are on the same page. They’re all Republicans, so there should be no great philosophical differences between them. However, Hosemann and Gunn have the power to shepherd legislation, and Reeves must decide whether to work with them or against them.
Teacher pay raises will be an excellent barometer of the new group’s executive/legislative relationship. Reeves was a late convert to the idea, while Hosemann promised raises throughout the campaign. It will be interesting to see if next year’s actions match this year’s rhetoric.