Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, a Republican, warned of his Democrat opponent's out-of-state influence as voting in the state wraps up.
Reeves joined the Ingraham Angle on Tuesday night ahead of the polls closing in Mississippi for his contest against Democrat candidate Brandon Presley for the seat.
In the interview, Reeves blasted Presley over out-of-state donations and warned Mississippians about the pitfalls of electing a Democrat governor.
"The reason for that is that 80 percent of Brandon Presley's money has come from California, New York, and Washington, D.C.," Reeves said.
"They don't just want to change the governor, they want to change Mississippi," Reeves said of the Democrats.
The Mississippi Republican called on voters to hit the polls with less than an hour before they closed in most parts of the state. A judge ordered polls in Hinds County — Mississippi's most populous county — to stay open an extra hour on election day, after several precincts ran out of ballots, Mississippi Today reported.
"Let's honor a veteran today and get out to vote," the governor said.
Reeves' comments come as the Mississippi governor faces a tight re-election fight against Presley.
Reeves’s Democratic challenger, state Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, is a second cousin to rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley. Presley’s big push is for Medicaid expansion, and he says he is a tax-cutting Democrat. On the campaign trail, he tells the story of his difficult childhood, being raised by a single mom after his father was murdered.
In a state where Republicans hold all statewide offices and a large majority in the legislature, the governor’s race should be a done deal for incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, said Glenn Antizzo, a political science professor at Mississippi College.
Prior to being elected governor in 2019, Reeves served two terms as lieutenant governor and two terms as state treasurer. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Reeves last week.
A Democrat has not been elected governor in the state since 1999. But the cash is still flowing in for Presley. So far, the Washington-based Democratic Governors Association has donated nearly $6 million to Presley's campaign. In 2019, the same association donated just over $2 million to Jim Hood, a Democratic candidate for governor.
There is a third name on the ballot, but the left-leaning independent candidate, Gwendolyn Gray, garnered little support and dropped out of the race in early October. She has since endorsed Presley but dropped out too late for her name to be removed from the ballot. Antizzo says votes for Gray could take away votes from Presley.
The Cook Political Report shifted the 2023 Mississippi governor’s race from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican" two weeks ago.
Fox News Digital's Clare O'Connor contributed reporting.