WEATHER AUTHORITY : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

DECISION 2019 PROFILE: Bill Waller Jr.

Mississippi's former chief justice has forced a Republican runoff election for the state's highest elective office.

Posted: Aug 26, 2019 5:54 PM
Updated: Oct 2, 2019 1:29 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) — Bill Waller Junior is making noise in his bid to become Mississippi's next governor.

The Republican running statewide for the very first time forced Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves into a runoff Tuesday for the GOP nomination. 

And he's positioning himself as the Republican who can beat Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in the November general election.

"The people of Northeast Mississippi want a conservative Republican in the governor’s mansion," Waller said. "And I’m the most electable conservative Republican in the race.”

With infrastructure as the primary focus of the candidate's campaign, Waller also plans to expand Medicaid, raise the gas tax to fix roads and bridges and increase teacher pay. 

“I think we’ve got a crisis right now," Waller said. "We’ve got over a thousand teacher vacancies we couldn’t fill last year.”

Raising taxes is not something any candidate wants to propose, but Waller said it should be on the table for roads and bridges, especially since the people using them are the ones who would be paying for the improvements. 

While his opponent mentions President Trump, Waller has highlighted another Republican icon when it comes to where he stands.

“Everyone in Northeast Mississippi recognizes a need to do something, and we want to do the plan Ronald Reagan did," Waller said. "We’ve got conservative plans.”

Expanding Medicaid is not a popular position with Republicans who have been running state government because the state would have to put up some money to go along with the extra federal funds.

Still, Waller has come down strong in favor of making such a move, and the Center for Mississippi Health Policy makes a case for it.

The non-profit, nonpartisan group predicted that Medicaid expansion could bring health coverage to as many as 300,000 uninsured residents and provide up to 9,000 jobs. 

“I’ve got the pragmatic conservative plans for education including teacher pay, career in education for health care," Waller said. "We need to support the North Mississippi Medical Center. They need to be staffed adequately, and they can’t do that right now, and we can do it without taxpayer money.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds211139
DeSoto131115
Madison120634
Jones106149
Neshoba95268
Lauderdale87978
Rankin81612
Forrest79842
Scott74215
Harrison7198
Copiah56214
Leake54719
Holmes52040
Wayne51511
Jackson50516
Oktibbeha48324
Lee47716
Leflore46948
Yazoo4676
Washington4659
Lowndes44411
Lincoln43434
Warren42517
Lamar4077
Grenada3675
Pike35612
Monroe35529
Attala35023
Lafayette3394
Newton3289
Covington2905
Sunflower2806
Adams26318
Bolivar26113
Chickasaw25418
Panola2546
Jasper2456
Noxubee2458
Tate2457
Clay24010
Marion24011
Winston2405
Pearl River23932
Pontotoc2314
Claiborne22810
Simpson2183
Smith20411
Clarke19824
Marshall1963
Coahoma1836
Kemper17413
Union1729
Walthall1694
Carroll15711
Lawrence1541
Yalobusha1527
Webster12310
Itawamba1228
Tippah12111
Hancock12013
Humphreys1209
Calhoun1194
Montgomery1162
Jefferson Davis1034
Prentiss973
Tallahatchie943
Greene917
Tunica893
Wilkinson899
Jefferson843
Amite812
George733
Choctaw714
Quitman670
Tishomingo651
Perry594
Alcorn551
Stone511
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena61
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 38442

Reported Deaths: 947
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4210140
Montgomery378894
Mobile3634134
Tuscaloosa196436
Marshall14959
Lee116737
Shelby105623
Madison10216
Morgan9553
Franklin84313
Walker84317
Dallas8088
Elmore80614
Baldwin6639
Etowah60613
Butler60427
Chambers57627
DeKalb5765
Tallapoosa56069
Autauga53011
Unassigned50924
Russell4690
Lowndes45719
Houston4244
Lauderdale4105
Limestone4030
Cullman3983
Pike3965
Colbert3635
Bullock3609
Coffee3522
Barbour3221
Covington3086
St. Clair2922
Hale28520
Wilcox2788
Marengo27711
Sumter27512
Calhoun2685
Clarke2645
Escambia2586
Talladega2576
Dale2410
Winston2293
Jackson2102
Chilton2062
Blount2041
Pickens2046
Marion20012
Monroe1942
Choctaw19112
Conecuh1786
Randolph1699
Bibb1671
Macon1668
Greene1647
Perry1350
Henry1293
Crenshaw1223
Lawrence1000
Washington987
Cherokee717
Lamar711
Fayette661
Geneva630
Coosa551
Clay532
Cleburne291
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
Columbus
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 70°
Oxford
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather