Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says he won’t debate his Democratic challenger, Robert Gray, before the Nov. 3 general election. His decision is bound to disappoint voters who wanted to see how Gray, a long-haul trucker with the CB handle Silent Knight, would fare in a side-by-side format with one of the state’s longest-serving officials.
That decision makes him Mississippi’s first governor in two decades not to debate a challenger while seeking a second term. “I have this other extremely busy job with being governor,” said Bryant, 60. “I think the best thing I can do as a candidate right now is be the best governor I can be.”
Gray, 46, surprised the political establishment – and, he said, even himself – by defeating two candidates in the Aug. 4 Democratic primary. He never told his closest relatives, his mom and his sister, that he was running for governor, and said he didn’t spend a dime on his campaign. Gray said he didn’t vote for himself because he was busy running errands that day.