Mississippi Gubernatorial Hopeful Quietly Deletes Photo From Private Plane After Decrying Private Plane Travel

Brandon Presley suggested politicians who use private planes to campaign are not on 'the side of the people'

Brandon and Katelyn Presley
September 20, 2023

Mississippi Democrat Brandon Presley quietly deleted a social media post that showed him traveling by private plane, a move that came just months after the gubernatorial hopeful suggested politicians who use private planes aren't on "the side of the people."

Presley on Tuesday morning posted the photo, which showed him and his wife sitting on a private plane alongside the caption, "Wheels up!" a screenshot obtained by the Washington Free Beacon shows. Within hours, however, Presley removed the photo from his Facebook. Flight logs reviewed by the Free Beacon suggest Presley used the private plane to travel from Tupelo, Miss., to Greenville, where the Democrat held a campaign rally Tuesday morning. Presley's presumed plane then flew to Jackson, where the Democrat appeared Tuesday afternoon—that trip can be completed via car in just two hours.

Presley's private plane tour contradicts the everyman image the Democrat has worked to cultivate on the campaign trail as he attempts to unseat Mississippi Republican governor Tate Reeves. Presley during a March campaign event decried private plane use, saying he would forgo such luxuries to "turn government toward the side of the people."

"Now the other side, they've got planes, and they've got PACs, and they've got all their little—I call them jacuzzi, penny loafer-wearing crowd. They've got them," Presley said in footage obtained by the Free Beacon. "And all we've got is me and you. But it's enough. … And at the end of the day, we're going to turn government toward the side of the people, once and for all."

Presley's campaign did not return a request for comment.

Prominent liberal activists have identified the Mississippi gubernatorial race as one that could bring a shock Democratic upset in a state that backed former president Donald Trump by 16 points in 2020. Twice-failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, for example, took to MSNBC in May to argue that the Magnolia State is ripe for a left-wing takeover.

"I think that we have an exciting set of elections coming up in Mississippi, with Brandon Presley running against a very weakened Tate Reeves," Abrams said.

Polling that emerged months later, however, contradicted Abrams's assessment. A Mississippi Today/Siena College poll, released in September, found Reeves with an 11-point lead over Presley, marking the third time the outlet conducted a poll that showed Reeves with a lead.

Presley, a former mayor who serves on the Mississippi Public Service Commission, has received extensive coverage in national media thanks to his status as Elvis Presley's distant cousin.