Pearl mayor loses primary - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Pearl 05/06/09

Pearl mayor loses primary

By Cheryl Lasseter - bio | email

PEARL, MS (WLBT) - Thirty-nine-year-old Brad Rogers is no stranger to politics in the City of Pearl. An Alderman At Large for 12 years, he's watched a lot of projects blossom, and he's forged many friendships.

He considers incumbent Pearl Mayor Jimmie Foster a good friend. But Tuesday night, Rogers beat Foster by a wide margin in the Republican primary. He thinks it's because constituents want to see a renewed spirit.

"In the Highway 80 area, I believe we've got to do some things to reface, refront, rework some older sectors of town," Rogers says.  "We must cooperate with these property owners, set up some public/private partnerships to work with them."

A Sam's Club is under construction in Pearl, and should open this month.  They are also expecting to see the Bloomfield Retail Outlets and a few other new shopping plazas, but the sagging economy has delayed the projects.

Rogers says he has the government experience to get things done on Highway 80 and other parts of the city. But his democratic opponent says he brings something else to the table: a wealth of business experience.

"The City of Pearl has an economic problem. As executive, that's my first priority," says 40-year-old Don Jackson, who has been self-employed most of his adult life. 

Jackson believes the city needs to present an attractive landscape and happy employees to attract new business.

"We have a two year plan to raise our city employment across the board 8-10% (without raising taxes)," he said.  "It takes someone with ingenuity to take those numbers, streamline certain parts of the city where we can squeeze that money out."

Pearl will elect a new mayor on June 2. 

Foster could not be reached for comment.

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