Tate Reeves officially becomes 65th Governor of Mississippi

Reeves said he will be for all Mississippi.

Tate Reeves was officially introduced as Mississippi’s 65th Governor on Tuesday.

Reeves gave his oath and opened his inauguration speech with a round of thank yous.

"It is my greatest honor to stand before you today and take this sacred oath," Reeves said.

He said the final words of that oath--"so help me God"--are what drives him.

Reeves said the oath is a commitment to seek the guidance of God, "to compensate for human frailty."

Reeves talked about his campaign for Governor, which he said was about highlighting differences, and noted that his job will be different.

"Governing is about coming together," he said. He said he will be for all Mississippi.

He also wants Mississippi to compete for the best jobs in the nation. He's committed to workforce training, a "skill-based system that will be the envy of the nation."

Reeves also wants pay raises for teachers and improved education. He wants more national board-certified teachers per capita than any state in the nation.

He wants Mississippi to be the easiest place in the nation to start and run a business.

He concluded his speech with these words: “God bless the state of Mississippi.”

"Here is my promise: This will be an administration for all Mississippi," the Republican Reeves told a packed House chamber shortly after being sworn in. "For. All. Mississippi. That is our theme today and that will be our motto."

Reeves, 45, succeeds Republican Gov. Phil Bryant who served the maximum two terms. He worked alongside Bryant as lieutenant governor and leader of the state Senate over the past eight years, prior to that working as state treasurer. In November he defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood to win the Governor's Mansion after a bitterly-fought race. 

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"I was just 29 years old when I first took an oath in this Capitol to serve the people of this great state," said Reeves, referencing his 2004 swearing-in as state treasurer. "The last sentence of that oath hit me hard on that day and it drives me still today. So. Help. Me. God. The call to action of the oath of office is not a commitment to be perfect. It is a commitment to seek the guidance of the Almighty God to compensate for our human frailty."

For more than an hour before the morning ceremony began, politicians including former governors Bryant and Haley Barbour and their families filtered into the chamber, shaking hands, taking pictures and talking. While an afternoon parade in downtown Jackson was canceled due to weather, Reeves planned to hold a Governor's Mansion open house in the afternoon and a ball at the Mississippi Trade Mart in the evening.

Reeves told the crowd that his inauguration celebrations had begun Sunday "in the church where Elee and I have worshipped since we were students in college." He said they "prayed not that we would be perfect but that we would be faithful."

During his campaign, Reeves focused on his support of President Donald Trump and his opposition to national Democrats. He tried to counterbalance his harsh campaign rhetoric on Tuesday, saying that "campaigns by necessity highlight differences," but "governing is about coming together." 

"We must care about each other enough to overcome our differences," he said.