Incumbent mayor Johnny DuPree was re-elected as mayor of Hattiesburg Saturday after the special election against independent challenger Dave Ware came to an end.
After affidavit ballots were counted at City Hall Saturday, the final vote tally had DuPree with 7,512 votes and Ware with 7,305 votes, putting DuPree ahead by 207 votes. This will be DuPree’s fourth term in office.
DuPree addressed supporters on the steps of City Hall after he was announced as mayor.
“My family and I thank you all so much… This is really about the future of Hattiesburg,” DuPree said.
He also made a statement concerning changes to Hattiesburg’s election laws.
“We need to look at the way we do absentee ballots,” DuPree said. “We need to make sure we get early voting because that’s what we need to have. That’s what the citizens deserve. It doesn’t need to be so cumbersome for people to go vote.”
After DuPree spoke, Rev. Kenneth Fairley spoke to the crowd of DuPree’s supporters regarding media coverage of the election.
“We want to make it clear that sensationalized reporting, failure to accurately investigate will not be tolerated,” Fairley said.
DuPree encouraged supporters to join him at his campaign headquarters after he spoke on the steps of City Hall.
Ware issued a statement that he will not be challenging the election.