Mayoral Candidates Announce, Campaign Chicanery Follows

Sen. John Horhn's accomplishments include helping find funding for the McDade's at Westland Plaza, the Jackson State University Parkway and the Mississippi Telecom Center at the Jackson Convention Complex.

Sen. John Horhn's accomplishments include helping find funding for the McDade's at Westland Plaza, the Jackson State University Parkway and the Mississippi Telecom Center at the Jackson Convention Complex. Photo by Trip Burns.

In announcing his plans to seek the mayor's office this week, Sen. John Horhn touted two decades worth of his legislative accomplishments. He also addressed the issue of his November 2013 run-in with the Jackson Police Department that resulted in a charge of driving under the influence.

Horhn, who also ran for Jackson mayor in 2009, said he is used to opponents "throwing stones" at him.

"To be honest, I've probably thrown some of the biggest stones at myself for being in this situation," Horhn added during his Wednesday announcement at Cade Courtyard.

The senator said that his successes outweigh his stumbles, however. Those accomplishments include helping find funding for the McDade's at Westland Plaza, the Jackson State University Parkway and the Mississippi Telecom Center at the Jackson Convention Complex.

Horhn, who is also the chairman of the state Senate Economic Development Committee, also said he played a key role in securing funding for the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, as well as helping Hinds County lure the Westin Hotel project to downtown Jackson.

He is the latest in a string of high-profile individuals who have either announced their candidacy or said they were considering it. Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon posted on her Facebook earlier in the week that she was considering a bid. On Thursday, she wrote on Facebook that she was already the target of robocalls "attacking (her) record and the records of other public officials."

"I want to be clear that, should I decide to enter the Jackson mayoral race, my campaign will not engage in these or similar tactics. I would also like to call all of those who decide to enter the campaign to renounce the use of 'robocalls' and similar anonymous 'hit and run' methods," Barrett-Simon wrote from Washington, D.C., where she says she is lobbying Congress on Jackson's behalf.

So far, only three individuals have filed paperwork to qualify for the April 8 special election. Francis P. Smith filed on Thursday; Albert Wilson and Kenneth A. Swarts have also filed paperwork to qualify to run for mayor.

Others pursuing the seat include former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and sitting councilmen Tony Yarber and Melvin Priester. Chokwe Antar Lumumba, attorney and son the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, wants to replace his father. Regina Quinn has also said she's in the race, but has not held an official announcement event.

Candidates have until March 19 to qualify with the city clerk.


Comments

Lindahelen 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I do hope JFP will be doing in-depth interviews on each candidate prior to the election. So far, I haven't found much on Francis P. Smith or Earl Swarts. I'm already slightly familiar with Albert Wilson and of course plenty has been written on most of the other announced candidates.

Robocalls are already in play and the most recent was from Community Research Group: a thinly disguised 'poll' that asked slanted questions about the motives of several candidates. I suspect that Regina Quinn's campaign was behind it since Margaret Barrett-Simon was portrayed negatively in one question while several other questions were designed to elicit a positive response about whether Jackson is ready for a woman as mayor.

Sigh. I still have a landline but may have to unplug it for awhile. Let the mudslinging begin. With ten candidates having filed paperwork, made an announcement or at least indicated that candidacy is imminent, it's gonna get kinda dirty out....the kind that will likely take our water and sewer rates even higher in the aftermath of cleanup.

Can I borrow a hosepipe from somebody?

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tomhead1978 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Someone told me earlier today that they got the robocall to which I believe the councilwoman is referring. Long, tedious, and poorly done in general (the automated voice mispronounced "Lumumba," among other things); the person who answered the phone, despite being a longtime feminist, had to answer "not sure" on the will-you-vote-for-a-woman question because the candidate they support happens to be male.

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