When My Name Goes On The Ballot, Your Name Goes On The Ballot
By: Brandon Presley
Running in this race for governor has been the honor of a lifetime, and one that so many people who grew up like me never dream they will have. I grew up in Nettleton, a small town where everybody knows everybody, like so many communities all across our state. On the first day of the third grade, my daddy was murdered. I was raised by a single mama who worked tirelessly at the local garment factory. When the factory shut down, she became a preschool teacher at the local church up the street just to put food on the table.
I used to be ashamed that we were poor, when I only had one pair of blue jeans and we had to go behind the laundromat and fill up 3 liter bottles just to get water. I’m not ashamed anymore, because it taught me how to be a survivor. I owe it all to my mama, whose faith in God and hard work never let us feel as poor as we really were.
This isn’t just my story or my Mama’s story. It’s the story of hundreds of thousands of Mississippians who are struggling every day – to put food on the table, pay the light bills and go to the doctor.
I put myself through community college and when I returned home at 23 years old, I was elected Mayor of Nettleton where I cut taxes twice and balanced the budget. It was there in my hometown where I learned the values of small town leadership, where in elected office you do the things that help other people, because that’s what leadership is all about.
Then I ran for Public Service Commission because I wanted to continue to help working families in the state. As Commissioner, I held over 200 town halls where I heard stories about parents driving their children to sit outside of a library, or a McDonald’s, to get on the internet to do homework. I took on corporate giants and cable companies that refused to bring internet access to rural Mississippi. I’m proud to have led the charge to pass the Broadband Enabling Act in the legislature with bipartisan support, bringing high speed internet to thousands of homes in Mississippi.
I have always done the work that is right for Mississippi families like the one I grew up in, regardless of politics and partisanship. That won’t change when I am elected governor. On day one, I will expand Medicaid so we can end Tate Reeves’ healthcare crisis, keep our rural hospitals open and provide healthcare to 220,000 working Mississippians. I will make ethics reform in state government a top priority. And I will eliminate the highest grocery tax in the nation and cut car tag fees in half for Mississippians, so that you can have some relief in your family budget.
Mississippi is ready to usher in a new era in state government, where we cut taxes for families and invest in the workforce of the future. For 12 years, Tate Reeves has failed our working families by putting himself and his wealthy and well-connected friends and donors ahead of Mississippians. He doesn’t know where Mississippians are because he hasn’t stood where we’ve stood.
Our state has the highest grocery tax in the country, and, while there is always enough money for the projects of Tate Reeves’ friends, there is never enough money for our schools to be fully funded or to keep our rural hospitals open.
This race isn’t about political parties – it’s about whether you’re on the inside or the outside. Everybody cannot be born rich and lucky, and that’s why our state needs a governor that will stand up for the values of Mississippi. Unlike Tate Reeves, I will be a governor for all 82 counties and for all Mississippians, even the ones who don’t vote for me. I’m running this race on the values that I learned in my hometown of Nettleton.
Come November 7th, my name may be the one on the ballot, but I won’t forget the Mississippians struggling to put food on the table, and the parents who took their children to the McDonald’s to do homework. I will be a governor for the people like my mama, because I think our current government ought to listen more to people like her. When my name goes on the ballot, your name goes on the ballot. I promise you this – I’ll never forget who I am, where I come from, or who sent me. Let’s make a change and vote on November 7th.
NEMiss.News endorsement for Brandon Presley: The only proven public servant running for governor.