Dozens gather for "Unite Hattiesburg" event at City Hall - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Dozens gather for "Unite Hattiesburg" event at City Hall

Dozens gather at City Hall Thursday evening for a Unite Hattiesburg event. Dozens gather at City Hall Thursday evening for a Unite Hattiesburg event.
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Dozens of concerned Hattiesburg residents met at City Hall Thursday night, not to take part in city business, but to pray for reconciliation and unity in the Hub City after a contentious special election for mayor.

They gathered around the City Hall fountain for a "Unite Hattiesburg" event, which was organized before the results of the city's Sept. 24 special election were known.

Mayor Johnny Dupree defeated challenger Dave Ware in that election.

A judge had ordered a new election after voting irregularities were found in abesentee ballots cast in a June general election.

"Regardless of who won the election, we were going to claim a truce for the city tonight," said Cindy Burleson, one of the event's organizers.

"I want to ask you to choose trust over suspicion, because I guarantee the people who you distrust at this moment love Hattiesburg just as much as you do," said Eddie Rester, pastor of Parkway Heights United Methodist Church.

About 70 people gathered for the event.

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