Mayor Johnny DuPree Qualifies for Governor

HATTIESBURG — Today Mayor Johnny DuPree made official his bid to become the next governor of Mississippi.
“As mayor of Hattiesburg, I’ve been blessed to work with great leaders — business leaders, community leaders, church leaders and political leaders — to build a strong city and region in South Mississippi,” DuPree said. “We need someone on Capitol Street in Jackson who understands Main Street in hometowns across Mississippi. We need someone who has experience in making a government work, and someone who knows firsthand that the real strength of any government are the people it serves.”

DuPree will draw on his experiences as Mayor of Hattiesburg to build a plan to move Mississippi forward in education, economic development, job growth and public safety.

“The City of Hattiesburg has weathered natural disasters, the impact of careless corporate greed and continued cuts in state funding in magnificent fashion,” said Sam Hall, campaign manager for DuPree. “The city has created jobs and not cut vital services during these trying times. That is a testament to Mayor
DuPree’s leadership and his ability to bring people together to work as a community; to not only overcome difficulties, but to grow and prosper.”

DuPree said he will spend the next several weeks introducing himself to the people of Mississippi, telling his story and letting voters know how he will tackle the tough issues facing the next governor.

“I want people to have a chance to get to know me,” DuPree said. “It’s important that folks in every corner of the state know who I am and what we share in common. Before anyone can ask to lead a people, those people have to trust that person and have faith in them to do the right thing.”

DuPree is serving his third term as mayor of Hattiesburg, being first elected in 2001. He served as a Forrest County supervisor for 10 years before moving to City Hall. He first entered public service in 1987 when he was appointed to the Hattiesburg School Board.
DuPree and his wife, Johniece, were married on Christmas Eve, 1972. They have two daughters. April DuPree Taylor lives in Mobile with her husband, Coustaur, and their son, Chandler. Monica DuPree lives in Jackson and is a teacher with the Jackson Public School District.

“My wife and I didn’t start out with a lot of money, but we were determined to raise our girls with a strong Christian faith,” DuPree said. “Our girls still joke that a typical Sunday for us is Sunday school at 9, church at 11, Baptist Training Union at 4:45 and church again at 6.”

Before entering public service, DuPree worked for 15 years at Sears and Roebuck. In 1988, Johnny and Johniece DuPree started their own real estate company, DuPree Realty.

“The work that Johniece and I did through DuPree Realty and on the Hattiesburg School Board was extremely fulfilling because we felt we were in the business of making a difference in people’s lives,” DuPree said. “We began to see first-hand how fulfilling it was to serve the people in our community. That is ultimately what led me to seek elected office and why I’m running for governor today. I want to continue to serve people and my state.”

Johnny Dupree Press Release
1/11/11