State leaders and residents question Gov. Reeves’ comments about Jackson

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 9:34 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Many people in Mississippi are trying to figure out exactly what Governor Tate Reeves meant when he spoke to a group in Hattiesburg last week.

“It is a great day to be in Hattiesburg. It’s also, as always, a great day to not be in Jackson,” Governor Tate Reeves said.

Days after the governor made that comment regarding the Capital City, there has been a divide between what people believe he was implying.

Some believe it was a joke gone wrong.

“I am very guilty when public speaking of trying to make a joke that goes over like a lead balloon,” said Jackson business owner Jeff Good. “I’ve done it time and time again. I have a feeling that I’m sure the governor was just trying to show some humor.”

Meanwhile, one state leader believes it was a poor decision completely.

“People are looking at our state right now. They’re looking at the city of Jackson, and I think they were very shocked to see the governor diss the state, the city of Jackson like that,” Senator Hillman Frazier said.

Sen. Frazier says because the governor represents the entire state, light-hearted or not, the comment could impact the Capital City.

“Words are very, very important because they’re so powerful,” said Sen. Frazier. “A lot of our business people might look at those words and say, ‘Well, if he sees bad in Jackson, we might as well move our business out of Jackson.’ A strong Jackson means a strong state of Mississippi. So he should be doing all he can to uplift the city of Jackson.”

Business owner Jeff Good says while the comment does hurt, it’s not something that is going to make him leave as long as city and state leaders continue to work together to resolve the water issues.

“I think that if a comment is made over and over again, and if there’s a real aggressive attempt at saying something negative about somebody, I’d be worried,” said Good. “But again, I’m super guilty of trying to make really bad jokes, and so I’m gonna give him a mulligan.”

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