JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Black voters will be crucial to choosing a Democratic nominee for Mississippi governor on Tuesday, and while race has not been a central topic of discussion this election season, it has been a strong subtext in a state with a complex history of race relations.
The candidate who led the four-man Democratic primary on Aug. 2 was Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, 57, who is black and has run a race-neutral campaign by focusing on job creation, education and other issues that touch all segments of society.
Placing second in the primary was Clarksdale attorney and businessman Bill Luckett, 63, who is white. While also discussing broad economic themes, Luckett often reminds audiences that he’s friends with prominent black Mississippians, including the Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, who has a home in the Delta. Freeman and Luckett are business partners in two Clarksdale ventures — Ground Zero Blues Club and an upscale restaurant called Madidi.