Jackson citizens react to city's primary election - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS 05/06/09

Jackson citizens react to city's primary election

By Monica Hernandez - bio | email

A lifelong Jackson resident, Demorrio Johnson said this year's primary election marks the first time he didn't vote.

"I didn't think any of the candidates platform had anything to do with the development of the city of Jackson. All of the candidates talked about the same thing," said Johnson.

There was a considerable drop-off in the number of voters this year over the last primary election. But this year's primary shows Jacksonians are ready for change in city government, even if that change comes from a familiar face.

Councilman Marshand Crisler and former mayor Harvey Johnson will face each other in the run-off election for mayor.

"The mayor has all the authority. What council members have individually is influence. And what I'm asking to do and what I think needs to the people have heard that I'm asking to move from my position of influence to a position of authority. I think I have used my influence to the best of my ability," said Crisler.

"We have learned, we've listened to people, we understand their concerns a little better than we did before, but we did before but we also have a track record we can run on and call on in terms of experience. We planted a lot of seeds, a lot of good seeds," said Johnson.

Crisler tells WLBT he plans to focus on public-private partnerships to push projects like Farish Street and the controversial two-lakes plan. Johnson said he'll create a crime victims units and aggressively recruit more police officers.

New faces will fill the council seats Crisler and Council President Leslie B. McLemore are leaving behind. And council incumbent Frank Bluntson is facing competition by the former councilman he replaced- Bo Brown. Councilman Charles Tillman is also facing some competition from the former council member he replaced- Bettye Dagner-Cook.

"Whichever one gets it, I hope they keep their campaign promise and do a good job," said Sean McCorkle, who works in downtown Jackson.

"I'm looking forward to the future," said Ruth Heer, who has lived in Jackson for 30 years. "I wish we would get the streets paved. I wish the crime would be better taken care of."

"The candidates can't bring about change by themselves. It takes a the candidates and the city council members. It takes me as a citizen. It takes everyone as a community in order to change the face of Jackson," said Jackson resident Demorrio Johnson.

Former mayoral candidate John Horhn said he'll sit down and speak with both mayoral candidates at their request. Then, he will make a decision about who he will endorse for mayor.

The run off election is May 19. The general election is June 2.

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