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Tate Reeves focuses on jobs, conservative values during campaign stop in Meridian

Meridian Star

During a tour and campaign stop at Structural Steel Services, Inc. in Meridian on Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves used the environment around him to bolster his pitch for the governor’s seat.

“These are great people who are job creators in our state,” Reeves said, referring to Tommy Dulaney and Rebecca Combs-Dulaney, the president and vice president of Structural Steel. “Much of what we’ll be talking about on the campaign is creating jobs in Mississippi. Having a governor who wakes up every single day and focuses on bringing jobs to this state.”

As Reeves addressed the crowd, workers busily welded, hammered and moved steel beams across the floor, creating a cacophony of noise.

“This is a prime example of Mississippians competing and Mississippians winning in this state and that’s what we want to talk about on this campaign,” Reeves said.

Reeves likened his opponent, Attorney General Jim Hood, to prominent Democrats in Washington D.C., saying “he believes the only way to improve healthcare is with more Obamacare.”

Though Reeves’ Republican primary opponents William Waller Jr. and Robert Foster have both said they would consider Medicaid reform, Reeves advocated for residents receiving healthcare through private employers.

“If you think Obamacare is the answer, then you’re asking the wrong question,” Reeves said. “We should focus on getting more jobs with (health care insurance) in the private sector.”

Reeves didn’t focus on either primary opponent, telling the crowd to focus on Mississippi values.

“It’s critically important that we elect someone who knows how important job creation is; it’s incredibly important that we elect someone that knows how important Mississippi values are; it’s important that we elect someone that knows Mississippi’s way of life,” Reeves said.

Reeves highlighted the $1 billion spend during a special session last August that went to infrastructure repairs across the state, including roads and bridges in Lauderdale County.

“We’re going to continue to invest in our infrastructure,” Reeves said. “Over 200 bridges are being fixed across the state and we were able to do it without raising any taxes.”

For Combs-Dulaney, Reeves’ focus on workforce development drew her attention.


(Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves shakes hands with David Roach, left, and Steve Edwards during a campaign stop at Structural Steel in Meridian Tuesday.)


“I’m a former educator and before that I was in investment. And you have to understand how education is really an investment,” Combs-Dulaney said. “(Workforce development) is what this state need to be about… I think that’s really what’s going to put Mississippi on the map.”

Combs-Dulaney gestured to the employees of Structural Steel as examples of the need for workforce development, praising dual-degree programs at local high schools.

“They’re getting trained and when they’re out of high school, they have a two-year degree and a certificate and they can go to work with a good salary and benefits,” Combs-Dulaney said. “They can work their way up and support their families.”

Reeves also said the system of community colleges in Mississippi plays a role in workforce development.

“Workforce development is a critical component of bringing better and higher-paying jobs to the state,” Reeves said. “It is crucial that our students are prepared for the jobs of the next 50 years and not just the past 50 years.”

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