The first time I ever met Johnny DuPree, he had been holding court in my office for about 30 minutes before I ever walked in the door.
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree
One of our reporters was using my office for the interview, and when I walked in, I was in a hurry but didn’t want to be rude. I mean he was running for governor. I thought I would listen a couple of minutes, and then slip out the door with my briefcase.
Forty-five minutes later, I was having a philisophical conversation with the Hattiesburg mayor about education in Mississippi.
I was totally entralled. On education, at least, I wasn’t sure if all of his ideas would work, but I knew he would make a decision, if he were governor, and stick by it.
It was that day, I knew he would give Clarksdale atorney Bill Luckett a run for his money for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Hell, he might even win, I thought.
Well, last night, DupRee smoked Luckett in the Democratic runoff, becoming the first black candidate to win major-party nod for the state’s top job.
DuPree, 57, advances to the Nov. 8 general election to face Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, 56, of Brandon. Bryant already has spent $3.1 million on his campaign — more than twice as much as DuPree and Luckett, combined.
For months, Bryant has been all but given the throne to the kingdom, the heir apparent to Gov. Haley Barbour.
Bryant, may win — may win. But, it won’t be because DuPree isn’t a worthy opponent.
Don’t sit back and assume he won’t be there when the confetti cannon goes, because DuPree has come to play and he didn’t leave his ball at home.