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Johnny DuPree Loses in Historic Campaign for Governor

By Daniel Cherry | Published 09 Nov 2011 10:26am | comments

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree has lost his bid to become Mississippi’s next governor. MPB’s Daniel Cherry reports how even national attention to the historic campaign wasn’t enough to put DuPree on top.

During DuPree’s concession speech he addressed hundreds of family and supporters at the Hattiesburg Convention Center. His disappointment was apparent, but he kept his message positive even in the end, saying he wants to work with governor elect Phil Bryant to improve Mississippi.

“We’ve met some great people in Mississippi. We’ve gone places that we probably never would have gone before. Met people that we never would have met before, and they all have the same thing in common. They love Mississippi. They love where they live, and they deserve better than they get. So we’re determined we’re going to do better by them.”

DuPree had a chance to become Mississippi’s first African American Governor. He never made that part of his campaign, even amid the national attention. But DuPree says he’s glad to make strides in opening up politics to everyone.

“I know what I am, and people see what my race is. What I’m talking about is the ability for anybody to run for any office in this state they want to even if they don’t have a significant amount of money, that’s supposed to be a red state instead of a blue state or blue state instead of a red state, but they have the opportunity to give the people a voice. ”

DuPree ran a severely underfunded campaign. He was outspent more than 7 to 1, and support was grassroots, mostly from volunteers. Jennifer Crumpler of Hattiesburg was one who worked on the campaign.

“It’s disappointing. He’s such a good person. He has a lot of really good ideas, but when you get in this business, these things happen. We got in there and fought the good fight, and we came out on the short end this time, but we’ll be back to fight again another day.”

DuPree says he’s going back to being the Mayor of Hattiesburg, and he’s not considering seeking any other office anytime soon.

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