Hewes turns election day into a family affair

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The most hotly contested statewide race is the one between Billy Hewes and Tate Reeves.  One of those men will likely become Mississippi's next Lieutenant Governor.  Reeves is from suburban Jackson.  Hewes lives in Gulfport.

Early Tuesday morning, Hewes arrived at the Harrison County Sand Beach Department office - his voting precinct.  With him was his wife Paula and their four children.  They all seemed calm and confident.

"We're fine. We're fine," the republican said. "Just ready to get through the night."

Three of Hewes' four children cast ballots in this election.  An excited daughter provides some assistance to a poll worker who's checking her in.

"I'm right there. I see my name," she says with a smile on her face.

Behind her is her brother, Gardner. The look on his face is stern.

"G. First time. You need any help?" his dad laughs.

It's quite a moment for dad and son.

"I mean it was just pretty cool because he was the first one that I ever got to vote for," Gardner says afterward, "and really the only one I ever wanted to vote for."

The campaign for Lt. Governor pitted a 20 year Gulfport senator against a two term state treasurer.

Tate Reeves' final campaign trip to the coast was Saturday. While in Ocean Springs, he talked about this race.

"My entire campaign has been about traveling around Mississippi running a grass roots, message based campaign about why I ought to be Lt Governor," Reeves told WLOX News.

His republican rival in the Lt. Governor race is Hewes. The Gulfport senator spent two years on the campaign trail, criss-crossing the state too many times to count, to share his message with potential voters.

"We feel really good. There's been a lot of hard work. There's not any stone we've left unturned," Hewes says after voting. "Everything we set out to accomplish we have. And we feel good about the odds for tonight."

All that time and all that effort campaigning around Mississippi led to this moment.  Hewes and his youngest son submit the candidate's ballot to be counted.

"All right good job, good job. Now we're done," a relieved Hewes says.

The family leaves the Commerce Street precinct feeling confident.

"Victory," wife Paula announces. "Absolutely. This is wonderful. It feels good Brad. It feels really good."

But will there be a picture perfect ending for the Hewes family.  That won't be known until late Tuesday night.

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