Lt. Governor's race is hard fought - - Jackson, MS

Lt. Governor's race is hard fought

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The clock is ticking down on political candidates as next week's primary closes in.

For some, it's been an easy campaign.

For others, like Republicans Billy Hewes and Tate Reeves, vying to become the state's second in command, it's been anything but.

"We've got a tough seven days left to go," Reeves said.

"I've never shyed away from a good fight," Hewes said.

That fight has played out publicly through political speeches and television ads attacking each other's fiscal responsibility and leadership.

Hewes, a state senator, and Reeves the state treasurer both say they're in it, to win it.

"I've been very interested to watch it throughout," said political analyst Andy Taggart.

Analysts, like Taggart, say competition greater than the governor's race combined with what's at stake put the lieutenant governor match up more in the spotlight than any other.

"Those who have been observers of the state political process know the office of lieutenant governor is one of the most powerful, some even suggest the most powerful office at least during the legislative season," Taggart said.

Both candidates say they're confident in their campaign and tout their political experience as the backbone of why they should be elected.

"I know how to lead, I've passed legislation for the past 20 years. I've taken time to develop working relationships with people not just across party lines but across chambers," Hewes said.

"What we've heard all over the state in this campaign is people are looking for someone outside of the legislature," Reeves said.

With no Democrat in the race, many see the August 2 primary as the deciding election for lieutenant governor, but first the winner would have to go up against the Reform Party.

Even so, the primary election is what Hewes and Reeves are focused on winning.

"Both of them see this as a very significant role of service and opportunity to be engaged in a very influential place in the setting of our state's policy," Taggart said.

"What's at stake is job opportunities for our young people," Reeves said.

"Effective leadership is at stake, that is most key," Hewes said.

Both candidates are set to speak this week at the Neshoba County Fair and say they will continue to campaign right up until election day.

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