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HATTIESBURG Mayor Johnny DuPree, who  is also the first African American gubernatorial candidate from a major party (Democratic),   officially welcomed 1,000 new jobs to Mississippi  in September as he joins in a ribbon cutting ceremony with Stion, a California-based company that manufactures solar panels

This is a great day for Hattiesburg and for the people of Mississippi who have been hit hard during the last several years of tough economic times, announced DuPree on September 16.   Im glad to help put people back to work. When Im governor, that will be my top priority creating jobs so that men and women can work hard, provide for their families and not have to worry about how they will pay their bills.

Under his leadership, Mayor DuPree has developed a healthy environment where businesses can thrive and families flourish.

As mayor of Hattiesburg, Ive been blessed to work with great leaders business leaders, community leaders, church leaders and political leaders to build a strong city and region in South Mississippi, DuPree said. We need someone on Capitol Street in Jackson who understands Main Street in hometowns across Mississippi. We need someone who has experience in making a government work, and someone who knows firsthand that the real strength of any government is the people it serves.

In the 10 years DuPree has been mayor of Hattiesburg, the city has increased its workforce by more than 6,000 jobs. Last year, when the state was facing a budget shortfall and leaders in Jackson were advocating deep cuts to education and Medicaid as well as refusing additional unemployment assistance for out-of-work Mississippians, Mayor DuPree was helping to create more than 1,000 new jobs in Hattiesburg.