By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Gubernatorial hopefuls Phil Bryant and Johnny DuPree will go head-to-head Friday night in a debate that will be carried by television stations across the state.
Friday’s debate will mark the first and only scheduled time Bryant, the incumbent lieutenant governor, and DuPree, the three-term mayor of Hattiesburg, will debate as party nominees. They appeared jointly in several debates in the summer before Bryant won the Republican nomination and DuPree captured the Democratic primary.
Friday’s debate, which begins at 7 p.m. from the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson, is being sponsored by AARP of Mississippi. The hour-long debate will be carried by seven televisions stations, including WTVA in Tupelo and WMC in Memphis.
“This is the mayor’s only debate,” said DuPree spokeswoman Ana Maria Rosato. “He is looking forward to sharing with Mississippi voters his vision for the state regarding education, jobs, health care and our future … He has a solid record of creating good jobs for Mississippians, not raising taxes and making government work for its citizens.”
Dan Turner, a spokesman for Bryant, said, “Phil absolutely is looking forward to the debate. It gives the public a great opportunity to grasp Phil’s experience in building and balancing the state budget, his track record of fighting tax increases, and his commitment to create private-sector jobs.”
According to an AARP news release, the debate coverage will be available to 1.6 million households.
“AARP Mississippi is pleased to sponsor the only debate scheduled for this year’s candidates for governor,” said AARP Mississippi Senior State Director Sherri Davis-Garner. “We look forward to hearing where each candidate stands on issues that are important to older Mississippians.”
The AARP news release went on the say the “candidates will answer a range of questions on issues facing all Mississippi residents, including people over age 50.” Questions will be asked by a panel of television reporters.
• 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday
• Mississippi College School of Law, Jackson, sponsored by AARP
• To air on WTVA-Tupelo, WMC-Memphis