SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - On the Gulf Coast, the statewide Republican candidates received an overwhelming majority of votes on the way to sweeping all eight statewide races.
GOP leaders in the area believe South Mississippi will see the benefits of the election results.
Chairman of the Harrison County Republican Executive Committee, Frank Genzer, is hopeful the newly elected leaders including Gov. Elect Tate Reeves will be influenced by the Coast when it comes time to delegate funding.
“If you have a strong coalition working on behalf of South Mississippi, they can guarantee that the money can come to where it belongs,” Genzer said.
Among those elected on Tuesday included the next Secretary of State, Michael Watson, who’s the first Coast resident to win a statewide election in 20 years. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes believes Watson’s seat at the table will prove to be valuable.
“He has a lot of influence over how and where tidelands funds will be sent,” Hewes said. “The management of those funds are critical to us by making sure the public has proper access and that our lands are protected.”
Those who played a big role in helping the Republicans get elected, like Dan Carr, think the potential is greater now for new industries to set up shop in South Mississippi.
“One thing that Tate will not do is raise our taxes, and that’s important for job creation, economic growth and important for the businesses from outside wanting to come to Mississippi,” said Carr, Harrison County Republican Club President. “They know we have a governor who won’t raise taxes and be friendly to businesses coming in.”
Tate Reeves won the six coastal counties by an average of more than 20 percentage points, and Mayor Billy Hewes is confident those voters will be remembered.
“Everybody from the Governor on down got in office with the help of the Coast. They’ve expressed their appreciation for that, and I do think that anytime we need an audience, we will have one,” said Hewes.
Along with claiming all eight statewide elected offices, the Republicans will also hold majorities in both the state house and senate.