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First Black Candidate Wins Major-Party Nod for the State’s Top Job.

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 23 Aug 2011 10:08pm | comments
Mississippi_Democratic_Candidate_for_Governor-Hattiesburg_Mayor_Johnny_Dupree

Hattiesburg's mayor has become the first black candidate in modern times to win a major-party nod for Mississippi governor. Johnny DuPree on Tuesday defeated Clarksdale attorney and developer Bill Luckett in a Democratic primary runoff. DuPree says he's proud that people believed in his message.The 57-year-old will face Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant in November. With a population that's 37 percent black, Mississippi has more black elected officials than any state in the nation. But it hasn't had a black statewide official since Reconstruction. Two other high-profile black politicians ran for Mississippi governor as independents in the 1970s. Charles Evers, brother of slain civil-rights leaders Medgar Evers, ran in 1971. State Sen. Henry Kirksey ran in 1975.Republican Gov. Haley Barbour could not seek a third term this year.

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