Mississippi Lieutenant Governor May Succeed His Boss

Mississippi's lieutenant governor, Phil Bryant, won a five-way race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination on Tuesday (August 2) and will face a yet-to-be determined Democrat in the general election in November - one of just four contests for governor around the country this year.

Bryant, who was elected lieutenant governor four years ago and previously served as state auditor for nearly a decade, was seen as the clear favorite for the Republican nomination, winning endorsements from former U.S. Senator Trent Lott and members of Mississippi's current congressional delegation. He hopes to succeed his boss, Republican Governor Haley Barbour, who is term-limited.

On the Democratic side, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree will face businessman and lawyer Bill Luckett in a runoff election on August 23. Neither candidate won the required 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday's primary.

The Washington Post 's politics blog, The Fix, notes that Bryant is the favorite heading into the general election, no matter who his opponent turns out to be.

"Democrats in Mississippi are at a low point, having just lost control of the state Senate and not even fielding a candidate for lieutenant governor, secretary of state or state auditor," the blog reports . "Their struggles mirror what has happened in several Southern states over the past year — most notably Georgia and Louisiana — where several Democrats in the state legislatures have been switching to become Republicans."

Besides Mississippi, the other three states with gubernatorial elections this year are Kentucky, Louisiana and West Virginia.

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