Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba maintains that he is well enough to lead Jackson for the next four years, despite an article that appeared in Wednesday's edition of the Clarion-Ledger bringing his health into question.
Reporters raised questions Lumumba's health during the mayoral race, and notions that his well-being would interfere with his mayoral duties were dismissed by the campaign as rumors. But last week, the 65-year-old Jackson mayor withdrew himself from representing Archie Quinn, who is accused of killing Stacey Gray, 35, of Oktibbeha County, reportedly for medical reasons.
The Ledger article leaned heavily on the reporting of the Starkville Daily News, which reported that Lumumba withdrew for medical reasons, citing a "serious medical examination" scheduled for this week. The newspaper also reported that Lumumba had previously tried to resign from the case, citing a hefty workload from his new gig as mayor. Those motions were denied by Judge Lee Howard, who refused comment for the story.
Reached by phone Wednesday morning, Lumumba's press secretary Latrice Westbrooks released this statement, which also appeared in the Ledger article.
"Mayor Lumumba is healthy and while he dispelled any questions or concerns regarding his health, he, as anyone, has routine medical examinations, check-ups and consultations which are private. There is nothing that was stated during the Archie Quinn case that would indicate that he is nothing short of healthy and fit to serve the people of Jackson."
Lumumba beat prostate cancer in 2000, and has fully recovered from a bout with pneumonia, which landed him in the hospital last year.