Mississippi voters head to polls to choose state’s next governor

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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — The race for Mississippi's governor is one of the most competitive in years, and it's got the entire nation's attention.

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If Democrat candidate Attorney General Jim Hood wins, he'll be the first Democratic governor in 15 years in an undeniably red state. Republican candidate Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is backed by the president of the United States.

Jim Hood (left) and Tate Reeves

"It's not just this election, every election is an opportunity for me, so I'm going to use that opportunity to my advantage," Mississippi voter Sadie Moore said.

Moore joined other voters in DeSoto County on Tuesday morning to cast their ballots in one of the most closely watched Mississippi elections in recent history.

Reeves, considered a traditional conservative, scored political points by getting support from President Donald Trump, but Hood, described as a moderate Democrat, stands a good chance of becoming the state's first Democratic governor since Ronnie Musgrove left office in 2004.

Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Mississippi Republican gubernatorial candidate Tate Reeves wave to the crowd at a rally for Reeves at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss., Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. (Alyssa K Newton/The Sun Herald via AP)

"I'm concerned about that, but I feel like there will be a Republican that goes back into office," Southaven resident Judy James said.

Many voters at the polls Tuesday weren't willing say who they voted for, but they did agree on what they want in the next governor.

"I'm just looking for somebody who's going to take care of my state and the citizens of the state of Mississippi," Hernando resident Charles Herren said.

"I tried to go just based off my beliefs and who kind of lined up with what I want for Mississippi," Jenna Boyd of Southaven said.

This governor's race has clearly had a significant amount of mud-slinging, and voters said that can play an impact in who they ultimately choose.

"Yea, it does when they're cut-throat," Boyd said. "We have big shoes to fill with Phil Bryant, so whoever steps in there has to do a great job and put Mississippi first."

"I know that's a part of politics, but I'm quite sure it's going to be an extremely close race," Southaven resident Darfeis Williams said.

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