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Gov.-elect Tate Reeves (right) speaks with Tom Pittman of the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi after Reeves’ address to the DeSoto County Economic Development Council quarterly luncheon. Reeves spoke on his priorities as incoming governor, including economic development, beginning in January.

The election has been won and now Gov.-elect Tate Reeves is setting forward what he feels the state of Mississippi must do to move forward under his watch.

On Nov. 5, Reeves, a Republican, defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood to win the governorship, getting more than 60 percent of the DeSoto County vote in the general election.

Tuesday, Dec. 10, the governor-elect made his first post-election remarks in the county during the DeSoto County Economic Development Council’s quarterly luncheon at Southaven’s Landers Center.

Economic development and jobs were listed among Reeves’ top priorities for the coming year, as he related to those doing business in what he termed the “shining star” at the top of Mississippi.

“Workforce development and workforce training are going to top our priorities,” Reeves said after his luncheon remarks. “We’ve got to invest in our people and to do that, we’ve proposed $100 million toward workforce development and training centers around the state.”

Reeves told his audience that would address what he said was one of the first questions asked by potential new firms coming to Mississippi: “Tell me about your workforce.”

But the incoming governor said creating jobs just to create jobs should not be what it is all about. Reeves said he wants a growth of good-paying jobs for the Magnolia State.

“If I ever look at just one economic statistic, it would be per-capita income,” Reeves said. “We now have the lowest unemployment rate we’ve ever had in this state and we have more people working today than we’ve ever had. But it shouldn’t be about creating more jobs. It should be about creating better jobs that actually grow per-capita incomes.”

The governor-elect again stated that he wants the state Legislature this session to pass on his four-year teacher pay raise plan, “that gets us to the Southeastern average in four years. That’s a $4,300 raise that would take place over four years. We think that’s really important and we need to continue to grow that.”

The inauguration of Mississippi’s 65th governor will take place on Jan. 14 on the State Capitol steps in Jackson, an event Reeves said is open to the public and is more about the state than about him as the incoming governor.

“It’s not my day or my family’s day,” Reeves said. “It is Mississippi’s day. It’s Mississippi’s moment and it’s for all of Mississippi.”

The soon-to-be governor again Tuesday stressed the importance DeSoto County has to the state’s success.

“DeSoto County is one of the crown jewels of the state,” Reeves said. “We’re seeing economic growth here, we’re seeing population growth here. What we’ve got to do as a state is to partner with these local communities in DeSoto County to continue to see that economic growth continues.”

REEVES ANNOUNCES TRANSITION TEAM: Wednesday morning, Gov.-elect Reeves announced his transition team for the move toward the inauguration and the start of his first term.

David Maron will serve as the Chief Legal Counsel, Parker Briden will serve as a Senior Advisor for External Affairs, Renae Eze will serve as the Communications Director, Kenny Ellis will serve as the Senior Policy Director, and Anne Hall Brashier will serve as the Deputy Policy Director.

More announcements about the transition staff were expected to be made in the next few weeks.

NEW EDC CHAIRMAN NAMED: The luncheon Tuesday, Dec. 10 was the last one of the year with Shad Sims of Atmos Energy as Chairman of the DeSoto Council Board of Directors. Chris Brown, with North American Electric, was introduced as the new Chairman of the Board for the 2020 year, new board members were introduced and those members leaving the board were recognized for their service to the DeSoto Council.

Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.