At a campaign party that began with prayer, it fits for Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree to thank God, even after a seemingly landslide loss.
Surrounded by his family as he took the stage to greet his supporters, DuPree thanked volunteers, his family, those who have contributed financially.
He began by informing the group that he called Gov.-elect Phil Bryant to wish him well. Then DuPree focused on those who helped him become the first major-party African-American candidate in Mississippi for governor.
"We couldn't have asked for a better group of people to work together," he said.
The even-tempered candidate smiled as he accepted defeat, with the AP reporting him with only 38 percent of the vote and 74 percent of the precincts accounted for.
"When you go home tonight, pray for Mississippi," DuPree said. "Pray that it becomes the state that you know that it is."
Before he left the stage, DuPree presented his wife, Johniece, with a bouquet of roses, thanking her for more than a year and a half of support on the campaign trail and decades of marriage.
As DuPree ended his speech, he thanked the crowd once more.
"God bless you," he said. "I can't tell you how much we love you."