The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley visits Southern Miss

Sarah Grace Meyn
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley visited the University of Southern Mississippi with a mission to endorse his campaign and encourage people to vote.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley recently visited the University of Southern Mississippi on Monday, Oct. 24. USM’s College Democrats hosted the event in the Thad Cochran Center, where Presley gave a brief speech expressing his goals for the governorship and opened the floor to questions from the audience.

His plan for college students and graduates was twofold. First, expand medicaid, one of the results being new healthcare jobs for graduates. He also believes in supporting alternatives to four-year institutions and keeping college affordable. 

“I think that we have got to take every opportunity to make the financial aid system available for every child in Mississippi so that they can have a quality education…,” he said. “We need to be working with counties, working with community colleges and universities to make sure we keep those fees and those charges of tuition as reasonable as possible.”

USM College Democrats hosted the event. They are working to make it easier for students at USM to vote, including educating potential voters.

Club president Alyson Gonzalez advises young voters to learn more about local politics and the candidates before casting their ballot.

“These are the people that are making decisions directly on where you live, the funding, and where state allocation is going,” Gonzalez said.  “So, self-educating is really important. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t know something, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room…”

Presley challenges incumbent Republican Tate Reeves for governor’s seat this November.

All eyes are on Mississippi as a recent change in the state constitution means that the winning candidate must have 50% of votes or more. If there is a tie, the candidates would have a runoff election, the first in state history.

Many believe Presley could be Mississippi’s first Democratic governor since 2004.

Presley’s key stances include boosting the economy, expanding Medicaid, cutting the grocery tax and fighting corruption in the wake of the welfare scandal.

His background is in local government. He serves on the Mississippi Public Service Commission and previously served as mayor of his hometown of Nettleton, Mississippi.

Despite running as a Democratic in a deeply Republican state, Presley has enough advantages that many consider this a competitive race.

He’s socially conservative and has a record of attracting Republican and independent voters. His opponent, Governor Reeves, has low approval ratings as a result of the welfare scandal and his refusal to expand Medicaid.

Voters can check their registration on the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website. In addition, the website has information on absentee voting, polling locations and more. 

The general election is Nov. 7. If that election ends in a tie, a runoff election will be on Nov. 28.

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