An African American blog of politics, culture, and social activism.
The state of Mississippi has the most black elected officials in the country. Mississippi’s Black population is roughly 30-35% of the total population. Yet, Mississippi has not elected any of these individuals to statewide office. The politics of Mississippi has been contentious and brutal regarding race. Whatever happens in the general election this November Mr. DuPree has made history. We hope that all the states of the former Confederacy will follow suit an elect African Americans to statewide office as did Virginia in electing Doug Wilder to be its first black governor in 1990.
Source: Hattiesburg American
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree on Tuesday night became the first black candidate to clinch a major-party nomination for governor.
DuPree, 57, a three-term mayor of Hattiesburg, advances to the Nov. 8 general election to face Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, 56, of Brandon.
Bryant already has spent $3.1 million on his campaign – more than twice as much as DuPree and runoff opponent Bill Luckett, combined.
Independent Will Oatis of Silver Creek is running a low-budget campaign for governor. Two rival factions of the Reform Party also want to put a candidate in the race, but the state Board of Election Commissioners has not yet decided which Reform candidate – if either – can run.
Republican Gov. Haley Barbour could not seek a third term this year.
At press time, DuPree had captured 55 percent of the votes in his runoff against Clarksdale businessman Luckett.
DuPree received 145,349 votes to Luckett’s 117,996.
In his address to victory party attendees at the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center in downtown Hattiesburg, DuPree praised God first for allowing him to make it this far.
“He did something in your heart to make you support us,” DuPree said to the crowd. “This process would not have worked without you all. But this isn’t over. We’re celebrating, but it has only just started.”
DuPree prided himself on what he called a “grassroots effort” for the governor’s seat.
Since he announced his intentions to run for governor in April 2010, DuPree managed to win the support of some of the state’s political heavy-hitters including U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, as well as two of his former Democratic opponents – William Bond Compton and Guy Dale Shaw. They both endorsed the mayor after he defeated them in the Aug. 2 primary.
On Tuesday, DuPree was declared the winner shortly after 9 p.m.
He told supporters his first phone call after the announcement was to Luckett, whom he thanked for running a “great campaign.”
“Hopefully we showed people how to campaign,” DuPree said. “You don’t have to be nasty and mean. You can talk about the issues and then let (voters) decide.” READ MORE