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Two Main Party Candidates Campaign In Jackson

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 09 Jun 2011 07:27pm | comments

Democrats and Republicans are gearing up their campaigns to be Mississippi's next Governor. A candidate from each of the two main parties made a stop in Jackson Thursday. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that Democrats and Republicans have very different roads to the Governor's Mansion.

Lt. Governor Phil Bryant and Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree stopped in Jackson Thursday, shaking hands, answering questions and gathering endorsements.

The issues that define the two parties are likely to play an important role in the general election this fall.

Republican Lt. Governor Bryant sees the defining issue of the election as one of leadership style and who can carry the mantle of two-term governor Haley Barbour.

"I think with the voters, I think they are going to look at the issues-education, job creation, health care, public safety-But as a candidate, I believe they want a conservative leader that has been proven and tested. And I think we can offer ourself as that individual," Bryant said.

For Dupree, a democrat and three-term mayor, this election will not be about party affiliation, but about the candidate with the best record.

"I think people are going to look at issues. I don't think they are going to look at a "D" and "R". I am mayor of a city that could probably go either way and I have been mayor there for three terms. I think people look for your history. What have you done in the past and have you done what you say you could do," Dupree said.

Marty Wiseman, the director of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, says Mississippi is no longer the democratic strong hold it used to be....that gives any Republican Candidates a significant built in advantage.

"(anyone) Coming from the Republican side has the upper hand by being able to claim "conservative" and being able to attach themselves to Mississippi's Congressional delegation. They can kick (Rep. Nancy) Pelosi, and Steny Hoyer and all of those as hard as they want to, and Barack Obama. And it does nothing but help," Wiseman said.

Wiseman says Governor Barbour is leaving behind the type highly mobilized infrastructure that plays a crucial role in turning out votes...Wiseman says state Democrats will find that type of organizing difficult to match.

Four democrats, 5 Republicans and 4 third party candidates have all qualified to run in the primary.




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