Bryant takes governor’s office

Published 1:03 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

JACKSON (AP) — Republican Phil Bryant of Brandon won the Mississippi governor’s race Tuesday, defeating Democrat Johnny DuPree of Hattiesburg.

Bryant will take office Jan. 10 to succeed Republican Haley Barbour, who couldn’t seek a third term as governor.

The 56-year-old Bryant makes history as the first Republican to succeed another Republican as Mississippi governor in modern times. Barbour unseated a one-term Democrat in 2003.

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DuPree, 57, is the first black candidate to win a major-party nomination for the Mississippi governor. He’s in his third term as mayor of Hattiesburg.

Bryant outspent DuPree 7-to-1, and the two nominees avoided criticizing each other during the campaign.

Republicans have held the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion for four of the past five terms.