196 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI city, eventually spilling across the county line into adjacent Lamar County. As the city grew, many whites left the city to move to the suburbs of Lamar County as well. Bellevue, Oak Grove, Purvis, and Sumrall experienced growth as workers increasingly chose to live outside the city proper and commute to work. In the 2010 census, Hattiesburg contained 45,989 residents, while the three-county metropolitan area contained 142,842 people. For the first time in the city’s history, a majority of the population was African American, at 53 percent, while the metropolitan area as a whole was majority white, with a total of 68 percent. Hattiesburg elected its first African American mayor, Johnny Dupree, in 2001. Also, in 2011, Dupree became the first African American nominee from a major party to run for governor of Mississippi since Reconstruction. The return of a two-party political system in Mississippi was in part a result of the Civil Rights Movement. For nearly 100 years, white Democrats controlled Mississippi and much of the Deep South. As a result of the Voting LUTER’S SUPPLY In 1944, Hosea Luter operated a plumbing and electrical store out of his home before moving to a new location to focus on kitchen and bath product lines. Years later, his son Emmette had the vision to create a kitchen and bath showroom impressive enough to attract customers from far outside their small rural community of Tylertown. Now CEO, Emmette Luter and his sons Chad and Max market the company as the world's largest single-location walk-in bathtub store, as well as having the largest display of bathtubs and showers. PHOTOS COURTESY OF LUTER’S SUPPLY Rights Act of 1965, African American voters began to register in large numbers as members of the Democratic Party. Following the Southern Strategy advocated by Richard Nixon and his adviser Kevin Phillips, Republicans began to actively court white voters in the South during the 1970s and 1980s. Touting the Republican Party as the party of conservatives which promoted small government, Republican candidates from 1972 through 2016 won Mississippi in ten out of eleven presidential elections with Georgian Jimmy Carter being the only exception. In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama carried only two of thirteen counties in the Pine Belt: Pike and Jefferson Davis. The success of the Southern Strategy at the national level helped Mississippi Republicans seeking national office. The 1972 election was pivotal; the Piney Woods helped elect Trent Lott congressman from the 5th congressional district and Thad Cochran from the 4th congressional district. Both men were part of a new wave of Republican leaders representing the South and easily won reelection to their congressional seats.