Debate gets interesting when candidates question each other - - Jackson, MS

Debate gets interesting when candidates question each other

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson's two mayoral candidates sparred over a variety of topics during our WLBT debate Thursday evening. But it was when Attorney Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Jackson City Councilman Tony Yarber had the opportunity to ask each other questions that things got interesting.

One is an elected official, the other has no political experience. Chokwe Lumumba questioned Yarber's admission he doesn't handle his household budget.  

"How can you manage a budget of $550 million dollars for the citizens of Jackson when you admit yourself that  you can't handle your own money?" asked Lumumba.

 "We have missed the fact that I have served on the council for five years, and in serving on that council for five years, I've been on that council that oversees that budget," said Yarber. "I've been the budget chair. I'm currently the budget chair."  

Yarber then asked Lumumba about his desire to award minority firms 50 percent of city contracts and require  60% of the work be performed by Jackson residents.   

"Can you explain how you will implement that without breaking the law?" asked Yarber.

"it's a stated goal, It's a stated goal. I've never said that that was something I would force people to do. It's a stated goal," answered Lumumba.    

Lumumba also took a shot at the incumbent councilman about his required ethics commission economic interest statements.

"The first time you filed was 2014 after qualifying for Mayor," said Lumumba.

"Even as we have addressed these issues, What we understand is Mr. Lumumba does not have a record to stand on. So unfortunately I cannot ask him about his statements," said Yarber.

Yarber deflected the ethics filing question.  We were unable to confirm whether Yarber had or had not filed those ethics commission statements as required by law.

So who won this round? Our viewers were asked to vote.       

With more than 4-thousands votes coming in...Lumumba received 59%, Yarber 41%.      

The runoff election will be held Tuesday, April 22nd.

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