EDITOR: As anyone who attended Jerry Shiverdecker’s memorial service in July already knows, our family has long considered Brandon Presley a close friend. Brandon is, without question, a rarity on many fronts. But it is his vision and unswerving dedication to bettering the lives of all Mississippians that sets him apart from literally every other person we have known. He has dedicated his vast abilities and seemingly boundless energy to his belief that all Mississippians deserve, and can have, better lives tomorrow than they have today. Thus, we call upon Mississippi voters to look past the “D” or the “R” behind the candidate’s name and instead weigh the character and record of the person himself. Mississippi deserves no less from its voters.
As we prepare to cast our votes for the next governor, Mississippians face a choice that carries immense significance for the future of our state. In the race for Mississippi’s 66th governor, there is one candidate who stands out as a true advocate for the people, a leader with a proven track record of delivering on his promises. That candidate is Brandon Presley.
Throughout his career, Presley has stood up for all Mississippians and worked tirelessly to address the pressing issues facing our state. As Nettleton’s mayor, Presley took the lead on cutting taxes for the first time in Nettleton’s century-long history, while also balancing the town’s budget. He brought new investments to the small town, proving that smart, pragmatic leadership could protect and empower Mississippi’s rural communities.
During his four terms as Public Service Commissioner, Presley turned the office into a true force for change. Presley’s ability to see potential problems on the horizon and take action to prevent them highlights his dedication to fiscal responsibility and accountability in government.
The Kemper Power Plant Boondoggle
With remarkable foresight and leadership, Brandon Presley saved the state $6 billion by opposing the Kemper Power Plant boondoggle, when state Republicans and D.C. Democrats were both defending the project. The experimental Kemper plan was rushed, under-researched and doomed to ultimate failure. In August of 2012, Tate Reeves, then Lieutenant Governor, initially expressed skepticism about the Kemper plant and the idea of its customers paying for its construction through higher power bills. By 2013 though, Reeves had somehow overcome his doubts and helped push through a bill that saddled those same power customers with a billion dollars in construction costs.
Presley fearlessly took on corporate lobbyists and politicians to defend Mississippi ratepayers when the easy choice would have been to fall in line. Republican Haley Barbour was the Kemper plant’s prime cheerleader, and it was well known that the Obama administration also favored the plant. Brandon Presley told the Mississippi Free Press, “If President Obama or Gov. Barbour like this plant so much, let them come up with a way to pay for it.”
Expansion of Rural Broadband Service
Presley has also used the power of the Public Service Commissioner’s office to bridge the digital divide, connecting more Mississippians with new opportunities through the expansion of rural broadband. He has been at the forefront of these efforts and he, not Tate Reeves, worked with Republican legislators to get it done.
Our state now has an unprecedented opportunity to access substantial federal funding that will enable us to bring broadband to even more rural communities. Presley understands the significance of this moment and its potential to transform Mississippi’s economic landscape. Throughout his career, he has shown the determination, vision and leadership to make this dream a reality.
Commitment to Medicaid Expansion
As part of his commitment to improve quality of life in our state, Presley has vowed to expand Medicaid. He will provide affordable healthcare to hundreds of thousands of working Mississippians who urgently need it. While Union County is currently blessed to have good healthcare services readily available, other areas of Mississippi are not so fortunate. Mississippi hospitals are closing, and the economic security and health of many communities are at risk. There’s only one candidate for Governor with a plan to address that crisis. Expanding Medicaid isn’t just an economic boost; it’s a veritable lifeline for those who need it most. Where past and present governors see Medicaid expansion only through the lens of partisan politics, Presley sees it as a moral imperative to promote the well-being of our fellow Mississippians.
Ethics and Transparency in Government
Presley’s commitment to transparent and ethical governance shines through in his work. Before he was on the Public Service Commission, the utility regulators made crucial decisions about our monthly light bills in closed-door meetings. Presley opened up those meetings to the public. He’ll bring that same zeal for government accountability to the Governor’s office, opening up the workings of our state government toward Mississippians.
Integral to this mission is Presley’s campaign to clean up corruption within our state government. The recently exposed embezzlement of over 77 Million dollars by Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) employees and their friends in high places is the largest embezzlement scandal in state history. It is not an isolated incident, but is the culmination of decades of systemic corruption in the Mississippi state government. In 2022, after a two year investigation, the Department of Justice called out the Mississippi Department of Corrections for “years of deliberate indifference”. Just last year, Mississippi Department of Education officials faced federal charges for contract bid-rigging, kickbacks and money laundering. Currently, several schools across the state are facing investigations and firings over state testing cheating scandals. These are but a few examples.
Presley has consistently championed transparency, accountability, and ethics reform. He has shown that he’s not afraid to confront powerful interests and tackle corruption head-on, a trait that our state sorely needs in a leader. Tate Reeves, on the other hand, oversaw the firing of the attorney hired by MDHS to investigate and “claw back” stolen welfare funds. The attorney’s misstep? Turning the investigation toward former Gov. Phil Bryant and other powerful people.
There is only one proven public servant running for Governor
Brandon Presley’s vision extends beyond mere politics. It encompasses character, leadership and a genuine concern for the people he serves. He has consistently put Mississippians first, rather than bowing to special interests or partisan agendas. His loyalty lies with the well-being of every Mississippian.
That’s why we are endorsing Brandon Presley for Governor. It’s time to put aside party labels and evaluate the candidates based on their values and their records. Brandon Presley has consistently prioritized the needs of working Mississippians over the influence of lobbyists and big corporations. His resolve to expand Medicaid, clean up corruption, and improve the lives of all Mississippians is unwavering.
Mississippi deserves a leader with the integrity, energy, and courage to tackle our state’s challenges head-on and create meaningful change. Brandon Presley’s record of service to our state shows that he is that leader, and he deserves our support as Mississippi’s 66th Governor. His vision for our state and his dedication to its people make him the right choice for a brighter future for all Mississippians.
Please leave your comments to NEMiss.News in the Reply section below this post.