As the August 2 primary election approaches, MPB  will examine the campaigns of  the top gubernatorial candidates. This report features Democrat Johnny DuPree.

" /> MPB Series: Governor’s Candidates Race To The Primary, Johnny DuPree | News | Mississippi Public Broadcasting
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MPB Series: Governor’s Candidates Race To The Primary, Johnny DuPree

By Daniel Cherry | Published 21 Jul 2011 06:06pm | comments

The statewide primaries are less than two weeks away and candidates are using all their time to appeal to voters. In a series of reports MPB news is examining the campaigns of top gubernatorial candidates. MPB's Daniel Cherry recently met up with Democratic candidate Johnny DuPree at a campaign stop in Meridian.

 

Even before last night's gubernatorial debate in Jackson, Johnny DuPree was hard on the campaign trail. He recently spoke to about 15 people over lunch at the Kiwanis Club meeting in Meridian. DuPree is currently the mayor of Hattiesburg, but he's also served on the Forrest County Board of Supervisors and has served as a local school board member.

"I know what happens when they cut services or they end up raising taxes. You know who has to contend with it? Your supervisors, your mayor, your councilmen. So I understand before you make those decisions you need to make sure it's going to work, make sure you have people around the table helping to make it work. So that's why I'm running."

On his campaign tour DuPree touts the fact that Hattiesburg has been named the healthiest city in Mississippi, and the population of young people is growing there. He also says he's brought efficiency to city government. But he says his main goal is the fix education in the state.

"Five years ago we told teachers they were that they were going to be at the south eastern average at the end of five years. Well I think we thought the other states were going to stop giving raises because at the end of five years we're not $3,000 behind, we're $6,000 behind."

It looks like DuPree's campaigning has been paying off. At this event he's at least gained the attention of Mitchell Taylor of Meridian.

"There's a lot of people who don't want change. I think it's gotten to the point where it's either going to have to fall flat on its face or it's going to have to be changed. I'm happy to hear that, but I'm anxious to see what's going to happen with that no matter who's elected."

After the lunch DuPree rushed off to meet campaign supporters in Meridian before heading back to Hattiesburg to prepare for last night's debate.

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