After Historic Runoff, Johnny DuPree is Gearing Up for NovemberBy Daniel Cherry | Published 24 Aug 2011 10:06pm |
Johnny DuPree handily won the Democratic nomination for governor, however, he's facing a Republican powerhouse in the general election. But as MPB's Daniel Cherry reports DuPree's says he's ready for the challenge.
After winning the Democratic nod for governor, Johnny DuPree spent some time taking care of his duties as Mayor of Hattiesburg, but he still found plenty of time to shake hands, call supporters, and give interviews for his campaign. Dr. Joseph Parker an emeritus professor of political science with the University of Southern Mississippi knows why.
"Johnny DuPree is a distinct underdog in the November election. I don't think that anybody who's observed Mississippi politics for any period of time would think otherwise."
That's because he's facing Republican Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant in the November general election. Bryant's campaign has spent about six times as much as DuPree to this point, but DuPree says he's not buying into all the underdog talk.
"I'm comfortable where we are. Wherever we are I'm comfortable there. Right now, we've gone through the democratic process, and we won that. The other candidate went through the Republican process, and he won that. So I don't know who is the underdog since we both won our primary."
Although the odds may seem stacked against him, DuPree says he's been outspent in every election he's ever won, but he does recognize the challenges he's up against.
"This is a large state. We've got limited time. We have less then three months now. We had three weeks that hopefully we could have used toward the general (election) that's gone, trying to win the primary. So we have less time, less resources."
Over the past several years, Mississippi has become a strong Republican state with the GOP winning four of the last 5 gubernatorial races. USM political scientist Dr. Joseph Parker says he would look at how President Obama fared in Mississippi for background. If voting were today he expects DuPree is good for about 40 percent of the vote.
"If Obama got 11% of the white vote, then Johnny DuPree ought to do better. How much he can move up from that?...That's why we have elections in this country."
If elected DuPree would become the first African American governor in the history of Mississippi.
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