Judge orders Melton back on the mayoral ballot - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

03/26/09

Judge orders Melton back on the mayoral ballot

By David Kenney - bio | email

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton has won the court battle over whether he could run for re-election. Thursday morning a Judge Billy Joe Landrum ruled that his name must be put back on the ballot.  

In his opinion Judge Landrum said that Melton overwhelmingly rebutted the presumption that his residency was in Texas.  He said the Mayor has held numerous positions in Mississippi, is a registered voter, and has a valid Mississippi drivers license, which proved his home was here.     The judge said the Democratic Committee provided no documents to prove their accusations that Melton's home was in Texas.  

A hearing on the matter was held in Hinds County court Wednesday.

The Jackson Municipal Democratic Executive Committee struck Melton's name off the ballot claiming he didn't qualify, because he filed homestead exemption in Texas.

The Mayor says he's pleased with the judge's decision, and the short court battle has not interfered with his re-election campaign.      

"As the Judge ruled, I'm back on the ticket today and we'll continue to grow Jackson in economic development. We'll continue to work in public safety and the housing issue and I'm very excited about that," said Melton outside his home minutes after the ruling came down.

Later his attorney John Reeves said, "I'm told public opinion polls show the mayor leading in the Mayor's race right now and apparently someone on the democratic committee wanted to get him out."

Democratic committee chair Claude McInnis tells us that he was disappointed with the judge's ruling, but does not plan to appeal it.

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