Rep. Thompson endorses DuPree

After much anticipation over who he might endorse for Mississippi governor in the Democratic primary, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson has thrown his support to Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree.

Many political observers had wondered if Thompson might back his fellow Delta resident, businessman Bill Luckett.

In an endorsement letter, Thompson said: "Mayor DuPree epitomizes what determined and pragmatic leadership should be and will help Mississippi realize its full potential by bringing equal access and opportunities to all Mississippians. Johnny DuPree has always stood beside me, and I am standing with Johnny DuPree." He praised DuPree for bringing businesses and jobs to Hattiesburg and not raising taxes during his 10 years as mayor.

DuPree's camp was obviously pleased with the endorsement, which some politicos are saying could galvanize the African American political structure and vote for DuPree in the primary.

Luckett's campaign has been well financed, and he has the support of his friend and business parter, actor Morgan Freeman.

In a statement, DuPree's campaign spokesman Sam Hall said: "Much is always written about money, but more needs to be written about momentum and support...we have committed volunteers, tons of small-dollar donors and many, many miles on our Ford Flex."

-- Geoff Pender/political editor