Former Jackson employee joins mayor's race - - Jackson, MS

Former Jackson employee joins mayor's race

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It's becoming a crowded field in the race for Jackson mayor as a former city employee throws his hat into the ring.

Saturday supporters of Francis Smith gathered at Jackson City Hall as he announced his candidacy for mayor.

The U.S. Navy veteran and former City of Jackson employee said there is a need for new leadership.

The 49 year old single father told those in attendance that the important issues are fighting crime, economic development, aggressively targeting blighted communities and improving education.

The pastor and former business owner has worked in the city's Telecommunications Division, Department of Planning and Development, Information Systems and Housing and Community Development.

"The city is in need of help. The reason why I'm running for mayor is literally to bring Jackson out of the pits of hell. We have suffered long enough and for the past 16 years. Change must take place, and it takes place now," said Smith.

The Indiana native is running as an independent.

The mayoral election is June 4, 2012.

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