washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

History in Mississippi

Hattiesburg mayor Johnny DuPree became the first African-American since Reconstruction to win a major-party gubernatorial nomination in Mississippi yesterday, defeating white attorney Bill Luckett by a comfortable 55-45 margin in a Democratic runoff. The contest was notably without rancor, racial or otherwise. DuPress overcame a 2-1 spending disadvantage, and showed significant statewide strength.
DuPree now faces Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, who won the GOP nomination three weeks ago without a runoff. Bryant will be a pretty heavy favorite, but you never quite know with off-year gubernatorial races. The last Democrat to win a Mississippi gubernatorial contest was Ronnie Musgrove in 1999.
DuPree is actually only the second African-American since Reconstruction to win a major-party gubernatorial nomination in any of the states of the former Confederacy. The first, and so far the only general election winner, was Doug Wilder of VA. African-Americans have won Democratic U.S. Senate nominations in NC (Harvey Gantt), GA (Denise Majette and Michael Thurmond), TN (Harold Ford) and TX (Ron Kirk).
UPDATE: this post was inaccurate in missing the gubernatorial nomination of Theo Mitchell in South Carolina in 1990, and more understandably, the Senate nomination of phantom candidate Alvin Greene in the same state in 2010.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.