An early poll about the Jackson race for mayor shows Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber in a dead heat with attorney Chokwe Antar Lumumba for first place. It also indicates that approximately one third of voters have not made up their minds which candidate to support.
The poll, which the Jackson Free Press obtained earlier this week, was conducted by The Republic Group LLC on March 17, sampling 525 potential voters and showing Lumumba, a defense attorney and the son of late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, leading Yarber 17.25 percent to 16.9 percent.
Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon has 11.8 percent support while former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. is in fourth place with 9.3 percent of voter support.
Meanwhile, Ward 2 Councilman and council president Melvin Priester Jr., state Sen. John Horhn and attorney Regina Quinn round out the rest of the field polled by The Republic Group.
Hayes Dent, a lobbyist and former aide to Republican Gov. Kirk Fordice, owns the polling firm. None of the candidates for Jackson mayor solicited the poll.
Also, 33.7 percent of respondents remained undecided, the poll found. That means it's still anyone's race.
Pollsters also asked how likely voters are to vote in the April 8 special election. Of those polled, about 85 percent said they would "absolutely be voting" or are "most likely" voting.
That seems unlikely as only about 30 percent of registered voters participated in the 2013 Democratic primary last spring.