Campaign season for Jackson mayor begins, one year before electi - - Jackson, MS

Campaign season for Jackson mayor begins, one year before election

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The last time the Jackson mayor's office went up for grabs, a baker's dozen vied for the position. Now, three possible candidates await the challenge despite an election still one year away.

With Thursday's first official mayoral bid from Chokwe Antar Lumumba comes the start of campaign season in the Capital City. Lumumba's announcement may also force the hands of others considering the move.

Already this week, Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham told 3 On Your Side he planned to run for the job, too, but hasn't yet made an official announcement.

Some in Jackson say it seems like people are announcing much earlier than in the past.

"Because it's necessary," Lumumba said, when asked about the timing. "I've received the criticism quite to the contrary, actually. People are asking me why am I so late? People are anxious for a change."

Lumumba said the announcement comes at a time when Jackson faces challenges including crime, financial issues with the city's budget and infrastructure concerns.

Graham said on Wednesday that the city needs "mature, adult leadership" and "everything is broken and needs to be fixed."

Mayor Tony Yarber hasn't officially announced he will run for re-election, but alluded to political posturing by Jackson City Council members, like President Melvin Priester Jr., who ran for mayor in 2014, when he said during a budget meeting last week that campaign season has already begun.

During one of the mayor's listening tours weeks ago, he outlined what he feels others are thinking.

"Once we get to November, everything ends. Why? Because folks start campaigning," said Yarber. "Well, nope. When we get to November, it's the fourth quarter. I'm not campaigning. I'm getting work done. And when it comes April, you will decide if you want me back."

It's unclear whether State Sen. John Horhn and Priester will run for mayor again next year as they did in 2014.

Neither has confirmed anything at this point.

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