History is Made in Mississippi

Last night, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree became the first black candidate to win a major-party nomination for governor in Mississippi:
DuPree, 57, a three-term [Democratic] mayor of Hattiesburg, advances to the Nov. 8 general election to face Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, 56, of Brandon.

...Republican Gov. Haley Barbour could not seek a third term this year.

At press time, DuPree had captured 55 percent of the votes in his runoff against Clarksdale businessman Bill Luckett. ... He told supporters his first phone call after the announcement was to Luckett, whom he thanked for running a "great campaign."

"Hopefully we showed people how to campaign," DuPree said. "You don't have to be nasty and mean. You can talk about the issues and then let (voters) decide."

DuPree said he'll most likely meet with his campaign officials today or Thursday to work out his strategy as his campaign presses forward.

"The strategy probably won't change much from what we've already done," he said. "Right now, I'm just relishing the moment and looking at people who are jubilant and happy. I pray that at the end of the road they'll be jubilant again."

...With a population that's 37 percent black, Mississippi now has more black elected officials than any state in the nation, but it hasn't had a black statewide official since Reconstruction.
Hopefully, some Mississippian Shakers can tell us more about Mr. DuPree and his policies, as I've no idea how progressive (or not) he is.

Irrespective of his platform, though, it is a big damn deal that he won his party's nomination. Congratulations, Mr. DuPree—and good luck blazing that trail!

[H/T to Shaker Jennie.]

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