JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The forecast forced the festivities inside for the swearing in of Tate Reeves as the state’s 65th Governor.
As the rain came down outside, the pomp and circumstance of swearing in a new Governor squeezed into the hallways and House chamber in the Capitol. We caught Former Governor Haley Barbour on his way in.
“He’s earned it," Barbour said of Reeves. "He deserves it. I think he’ll do a really good job. One thing about Tate is he knows what he’s for and that’s why he’s strong. A good solid conservative.”
Phil Bryant was also taking it all in in his final moments as Governor.
“I can’t wait for him to be sworn in and I’ll be heading to the farm,” noted Bryant on the way into the chamber.
And then the transition was made official as the oath of office was given.
The shift inside meant most members of the public huddled around monitors on the second floor.
“It would’ve been so nice if it hadn’t been raining but the Lord knows what we need more than we do," said Charlotte Daniel of Tishomingo County.
But most were just glad to be there to witness history.
“If it was inside or outside, I was going to come because it was good to be here," explained Nick Ladner. "It was great.”
Reeves tells us he believed the tone he sets is important after what he described as a full contact campaign.
“Today is not about what’s happened in the past," noted Reeves. "Today is about the future. It’s for all Mississippi. It’s about bringing Mississippians together across the state for better jobs and defending our way of life.”
His speech referenced several plans, many of which mirrored what he discussed on the campaign trail.
“It’s my mission to spend every single day creating a climate where good careers are plentiful with every Mississippian prepared to pursue them,” said Reeves.
He also discussed education, corrections, workforce training and economic development.
Longtime Senator John Horhn (D) reacted to the speech.
“We have had some differences," said Horhn. "And I think what he’s saying is he wants to turn over a new leaf and turn the page and do some things that will bring all Mississippians together. I have no reason to doubt him at this point. I’m willing to give him a chance to do what he says he’s going to do.”
Reeves has already taken some official steps as Governor when he re-appointed some agency heads but does have others who are planning to resign or retire.
We anticipate hearing soon who he will appoint to those positions, including the Commissioner of MDOC.