Another candidate jumps in the pool for mayoral race - - Jackson, MS

Jackson Mayor's Race: Now there are 10

Margaret Barrett-Simon  (Source: City of Jackson website) Margaret Barrett-Simon (Source: City of Jackson website)
John Horhn John Horhn
Albert Wilson Albert Wilson
Tuesday evening, the late mayor's son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, officially kicked off his campaign for mayor. Tuesday evening, the late mayor's son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, officially kicked off his campaign for mayor.

Ten candidates now make up the field hoping to become the next mayor of Jackson. The latest to enter, longtime Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon.

After serving under 5 different Mayors and often being urged to consider a run for the top leadership spot, Barrett Simon said it was time.

"And with this untimely death of this mayor, I asked myself again, when people were calling, that question and I said why not,, maybe it's time," said Barrett-Simon. 

The Ward 7 Councilwoman told supporters and reporters Monday at City Hall, the Mayor's untimely death last month left the city at a crossroads and it's time for a progressive forward thinking Mayor who will work for all.

When asked if she had a chance to win in a predominately African American city, the veteran Councilwoman said she represents the most diverse constituency in Ward 7.

"The time for petty politics and turf battles are over," added Barrett-Simon I call on the other candidates in this race, most of whom I know and respect and with whom I have worked in the past, to join me in a constructive dialogue that puts the people of Jackson first."

The Belhaven resident was first elected to the Jackson city council in 1985, and has served 29 years in office.

Francis Smith was the ninth candidate to enter the race. Smith ran unsuccessfully in 2013 as an independent.

Smith would like to streamline city government, introduce a 5-10 year plan to resolve the infrastructure issues and implement authoritative leadership in the police department.

State Senator John Horhn also wants to be elected Jackson's new leader. The long time state senator did not shy away from immediately addressing his DUI arrest.

The six term democrat said he expects criticism from his opponents and their supporters, but is confident voters are more concerned with other issues. Horhn said his opponents will use the DUI arrest to throw stones, adding he threw some of the rocks at himself for even putting himself in the situation.

"I say about the DUI arrest that I'm going to face it forward and I look forward to my day in court and let the chips fall where they may," said Horhn. "I think the people are more concerned about somebody putting a gun in their face and robbing them, somebody breaking into their homes or somebody stealing their cars or somebody breaking into their businesses." 

Albert Wilson was also joined by his wife and children Wednesday as he made his announcement. Wilson is executive director of Genesis and Light Center in Jackson, and has many years of work in the community.

"I've learned to deal with budgeting fundraising marketing and those skills will help us move our city forward," said Wilson.

On Tuesday afternoon Jackson City Council President Melvin Priester, Jr., announced his intentions at his law office on Executive Place. The renovated facility served as an example of his plans of rebuilding and bringing new life to the city.

The 35-year-old attorney says he plans to bring the strengths of older and younger generations together to move the city forward.

"I get angry at how we spend millions of dollars trying to do things in Jackson and we ignore the people like you see around here that don't get the assistance and help, said Priester. "I think that we have a group of people in Jackson that are unrepresented, the people who live in this city who have been in this city aren't getting things done for them and that's why I want to run."

Tuesday evening, the late mayor's son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, officially kicked off his campaign for mayor. The 30 year old stood on the steps of city hall among a crowd of supporters from his father's administration. The attorney promises to continue his father's vision of one city, one aim, one destiny.

"We simply can not go back," said Lumumba. "We can not be distracted or we can not be beset by distractions and deception. As great as I believe my father to have been, I know as he knew that this isn't about a great man. It's about the great people of Jackson, Mississippi."

The candidates in the race are:

  • Margaret Barrett-Simon
  • Francis Smith
  • Melvin Priester
  • Chokwe Antar Lumumba
  • Harvey Johnson (Former Mayor)
  • Tony Yarber (City Councilman)
  • Regina Quinn
  • John Hohrn (State Senator)
  • Albert Wilson
  • Kenneth A. Swarts

Some things to remember about the special election:

  • There is no primary. Democrats, Republicans and Independents run together on the same ballot.
  • If no candidate gets a majority, the top two candidates will be in a runoff April 22.
  • WLBT and will televise a Mayoral Debate live March 27.

The filing deadline is March 19.

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