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Politics

Bryant Wins In Mississippi

November 8, 2011

Updated at 10:24 p.m.

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant was elected governor of Mississippi Tuesday, succeeding term-limited Republican Gov. Haley Barbour in a state once controlled by Democrats. With 43 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race with the Republican leading Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree 59 percent to 41 percent.

"For the first time in more than 125 years, Mississippi voters have elected back-to-back Republican governors," said Republican Governors Association Chair Bob McDonnell in a statement.

"Throughout the campaign, Phil made clear that as governor he will lead the state based on core conservative principles that promote job creation - low taxes, fair and predictable regulations, and a government that prioritizes its investments and lives within its means."

The results do not come as a surprise; Bryant was considered a heavy favorite from the beginning of the race. But Bryant's victory is the latest manifestation of the ongoing shift from blue to red in state government.

DuPree made history in his losing effort, becoming the first black candidate to win a major party's nomination for statewide office in Mississippi history.

The campaign was defined by civility, with both candidates eschewing personal attacks. The pair also agreed on many policy issues, making it hard for DuPree to overcome Bryant's advantages in name recognition and fundraising. In the closing weeks of the campaign, Bryant and his allies attempted to tie DuPree to President Obama and the national Democratic Party.

In each of the four governor's races this year -- West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana -- the incumbent party held the governorship, with two Republican victories and two Democratic victories.

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