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DuPree Primary Win Historic In Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss., Aug. 24 (UPI) — History was made in Mississippi when Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree became the first African-American in modern times to be a major-party nominee for governor.

DuPree, 57, defeated Clarksdale lawyer and businessman Bill Luckett, 63, in the Democratic runoff Tuesday, capturing 55 percent of the vote, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger reported.

DuPree will face Republican nominee Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, independent Will Oatis and a potential Reform Party candidate in the Nov. 8 general election.

Gov. Haley Barbour, first elected in 2003, cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

“I feel good,” DuPree said Tuesday after the results were announced. “It’s been a long [race], and I feel we were rewarded for a lot of hard work.”

DuPree said he’s aware of the history he made in a state known for its past racial difficulties, but doesn’t dwell on it.

“What we’ve been trying to express to people is a message,” he said. “I don’t think I have to focus on [race].”

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