Robert Gray (Mississippi politician)

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Template:For Template:Infobox politician Robert Gray (born April 14, 1969) is an American politician and truck driver from the state of Mississippi who was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Mississippi in the 2015 election. A Jackson native, Gray is an unmarried long-distance truck driver and former firefighter. He defeated lawyer Vicki Slater and Dr. Valerie Short in the Democratic gubernatorial primary on August 4, 2015. Gray received 50.9% of the vote while Slater received 30.3% and Short 18.8%. Gray did not vote in the primaries as he was out of town for work and later expressed surprise at his win.[1][2][3][4] He operates a truck company known as Fancy Horse Transportation, Inc.

Early life

Gray was born in 1969 in Jackson, Mississippi and currently lives in Terry, Mississippi. His mother is Judie Gray Livingston, and he has one sister, Angela.[5] Gray attended Provine High School in Jackson.[6] He worked as a truck driver and was formerly a firefighter.[7]

Gubernatorial race

Primary Election

Gray stated he spent between $50 and $60 on his campaign and had no formal ties to Mississippi politics or politicians. Gray's bid for governor was incited by his belief that incumbent governor Phil Bryant was failing to help improve life in a state where poverty is a persistent problem.[8] He did not receive any campaign donations during his Democratic primary campaign.[9] Gray won 79 out of Mississippi's 82 counties in the 2015 Democratic primary.[10] Gray's campaign manager was his sister Angela.[11]

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Explanations for Gray's surprise win ranged from his name appearing first on the ballot to the fact that he was the only man on the ballot running against two women.[12]

Gray was featured on the Today Show on September 11, 2015.[13] He stated his campaign would be focused on education, healthcare, and infrastructure.[14] On Bryant, Gray said, "He’s conservative when it comes to supporting our state but he can spend millions of dollars in a campaign. If he had done his job, he wouldn’t need to spend so much money."[15] In October 2015 he stated that "[he had] God on his side" and pointed to the biblical story of David and Goliath in order to illustrate his campaign.[16]

Polling

In a poll administered in October 2015, Gray received 28% of poll votes compared to Phil Bryant's 66% and Reform candidate Shawn O'Hara's 1%. 5% of those polled were undecided.[17]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Phil
Bryant (R)
Robert
Gray (D)
Shawn
O'Hara (Ref)
Undecided
Mason-Dixon October 21–25, 2015 625 ± 4% Template:Party shading/Republican align=center| 66% 28% 1% 5%

General Election

The gubernatorial general election was held on November 3, 2015.[18] Gray lost the election to Bryant, receiving 32.1% of the vote compared to Bryant's 66.6%.

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References

  1. "2015 Democratic Primary". http://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/2015-Democratic-Primary.aspx. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  2. "Mississippi goes cray-cray for Gray". http://msbusiness.com/2015/08/david-dallas-mississippi-goes-cray-cray-for-gray/. 
  3. "Robert Gray Wins Democratic Primary for Governor". http://www.mpbonline.org/blogs/news/2015/08/05/robert-gray-wins-democratic-primary-for-governor/. 
  4. Legal Reader Staff (September 8, 2015). "The Anti-Trump: Mississippi’s Shy Truck-Driving Black Candidate for Governor". Legal Reader. http://www.legalreader.com/the-anti-trump-mississippis-shy-truck-driving-black-candidate-for-governor/. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  5. Nave, R. L. (November 2, 2015). "Robert Gray's Mom: I Always Wanted Him to Run for Gov.". Jackson Free Press. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/weblogs/politics-blog/2015/nov/02/robert-grays-mom-i-always-wanted-him-to-run-for-go/. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  6. Nave, R. L. (August 5, 2015). "Robert Gray in (Truck) Driver's Seat to Challenge Gov. Phil Bryant". Jackson Free Press. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2015/aug/05/robert-gray-truck-drivers-seat-challenge-gov-phil-/. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  7. Lawler, David (September 8, 2015). "Shy truck driver wins shock nomination for Mississippi governor". The Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-politics/11851546/Shy-truck-driver-wins-shock-nomination-for-Mississippi-governor.html. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  8. "Robert Gray doesn't vote, wins Mississippi Democratic Governor nomination". http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/08/robert_gray_doesnt_vote_wins_m.html. 
  9. "This Major-Party Nominee's Not In The Pocket Of Big Donors. Or Any Donors". https://www.npr.org/2015/08/06/429911893/this-major-party-nominees-not-in-the-pocket-of-big-donors-or-any-donors. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  10. "Shy trucker emerges as Democrats' pick for Mississippi governor". http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/shy-trucker-emerges-as-democrats-pick-for-mississippi-governor/. 
  11. Tubwell, Jennifer. "Robert Gray Outlines His Plans to take Governor's Seat". WXXV25. Archived from the original on 2015-09-28. https://web.archive.org/web/20150928225549/http://www.wxxv25.com/news/local/story/Robert-Gray-Outlines-His-Plans-to-take-Governors/TJikLg9pJkOM_iQOqgEKsw.cspx. 
  12. "Rethink Mississippi: How Robert Gray's upset was more than a century in making". http://hottytoddy.com/2015/08/19/rethink-mississippi-how-robert-grays-upset-was-more-than-a-century-in-making/. 
  13. "Truck driver wins nomination for governor – without a campaign". Today. http://www.today.com/news/truck-driver-wins-nomination-governor-without-campaign-t43506. 
  14. Jones, Quentis. "Gubernatorial Candidate Robert Gray Makes Campaign Stop in Pine Belt". WDAM-TV 7. http://www.wdam.com/story/30122767/candidate-robert-gray-makes-campaign-stop-in-pine-belt. 
  15. "Robert Gray for Governor". http://robertgrayforgovernor.webs.com. 
  16. Ledger, Clarion (October 27, 2015). "Democrat gubernatorial candidate Gray: "I have God on my side"". Y'all Politics. http://yallpolitics.com/index.php/yp/post/42514/. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  17. Mason-Dixon
  18. "Mississippi Democrats set for another shellacking". http://www.southernpoliticalreport.com/2015/03/10/mississippi-democrats-set-for-another-shellacking/. 

External links

Campaign website

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