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Republicans hold Mississippi governorship

November 08, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant speaks to a reporter about his race for governor after voting in Brandon, Miss.
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant speaks to a reporter about his race for governor after… (Rogelio V. Solis / Associated…)

Phil Bryant will succeed Haley Barbour as governor of Mississippi, marking the first time in more than a century the state has replaced one Republican governor with another.

Bryant, the lieutenant governor, led Democrat Johnny DuPree 60-40% with more than half of the precincts reporting. Republicans appeared set to claim all but one of the state's constitutional offices; Democrats failed to even mount candidates in three of them.

Barbour, the former Republican National Committee chairman who flirted with a presidential bid, was term-limited. The race was overshadowed by the fierce fight in the state over the so-called "personhood" ballot initiative, which appeared headed for defeat.

DuPree, the mayor of Hattiesburg, made history in August when he became the first African American nominee for statewide office since the 1800s.

The Mississippi result means that in each of the four gubernatorial races this year, the incumbent party maintained control. Democrat Steve Beshear earlier won reelection in Kentucky.

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