Representative Toby Barker running for Hattiesburg mayor

Representative Toby Barker running for Hattiesburg mayor

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Rep. Toby Barker (R- Dist. 102 announced Thursday morning that he will be running for mayor of Hattiesburg.

Barker made the announcement on his Facebook Page at 10 a.m.

Watch his announcement here:

Barker's statement read:

"Dear friends - today, I am announcing my candidacy to run for the Mayor of Hattiesburg.

"Hattiesburg is a dynamic place to live strengthened by the diversity, ideas and talent of its people. Though we have our challenges, I believe these challenges are opportunities for us to come together and work toward a positive future built on quality education, state-of-the-art infrastructure and strong neighborhoods in every part of the city," said Barker in an issued news release.

Barker will face  incumbent Johnny DuPree for the position in the summer. DuPree has been elected mayor four times.

According to Barker's website, he serves as Chairman of the House Performance Based Budgeting Committee. His other committee memberships include the Appropriations, Apportionment & Elections, Education, Medicaid, Public Health & Human Services and Technology committees.

He was elected in 2007 to replace retiring District 102 Representative Lee Jarrell Davis. At age 25, he was the youngest legislator elected in Mississippi and the first elected in his generation.

Before being elected to the House, Toby served as director of the Southern Miss Business Assistance Center. Now with entrepreneurship services expanded into the Accelerator at The Garden, he launched Hattiesburg's first business incubator in 2006.