2011 Mississippi gubernatorial election begins to take shape

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September 14, 2010

Current Lieut. Gov. of Mississippi Phil Bryant

By Greg Janetka

JACKSON, Mississippi: In less than two months 37 gubernatorial elections across the country will be decided, possibly altering the political landscape. Eyes in Mississippi, however, have already begun looking forward to the state's 2011 election, when current Governor Haley Barbour will be term-limited, effectively opening up the field.

For the Republicans, the first candidate to officially announce was current Pearl River County District Supervisor Hudson Holiday. Although the first to declare, his website has not been updated since October 31, 2009.[1] On the Democratic side, the first candidate to declare his candidacy was Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, who launched his campaign website in May 2010.[2] DuPree will most likely be facing attorney Bill Luckett, who has already had actor Morgan Freeman campaigning for him.[3]

The most high profile potential candidate is current Republican Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant. Bryant, who has often effectively pushed Gov. Barbour's agenda through the legislature, has the advantage of using the 2011 legislative session as a platform to sell himself from. He has already pushed himself into the spotlight by joining a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal healthcare package, and for strongly opposing illegal immigration. The political makeup of the state will most likely see these two issues as important keys to the election.[4]

Meanwhile, Gov. Barbour is considering a 2012 presidential run. He is expected to make an announcement after November.[5]

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