A campaign has several parts.
First, especially, if you're an unknown candidate, you have to tell your story. Then, you have to talk about your big ideas. After that, you have to convince people that you're the best person to put those ideas into action.
Typically, that process takes weeks. But we don't have weeks in the Jackson special election for mayor; we have less than one month.
Right now, Chokwe Antar is still in the first phase. As someone who has never sought, much less held, elected political office, he has to do a little salesmanship. Today, before he announced his candidacy for mayor of Jackson, his sister, Rukia, and wife, Ebony--both powerful speakers--talked up their little brother and husband, respectively.
Rukia described their late father, Chokwe Lumumba, as the "guide" and her brother as the "light." Ebony Lumumba, with whom Antar is expecting a child, said her husband is more interested in serving than merely running for office.
Antar's announcement was the fourth of the day. It also ended speculation about two potential candidates that are perennial faces, Charlotte Reeves and David Archie. Both Reeves and Archie attended the rally in support of Lumumba.
Earlier in the day, the Lumumba campaign sent out this statement from him, pasted verbatim:
After an emotional past two weeks, which included laying his father to rest and delivering an impassioned eulogy that The New York Times called "barn-burning" on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, Attorney and Managing Partner for Lumumba, Freelon, & Associates, Chokwe Antar. Lumumba will announce his intent to seek the mayor's office for the city of Jackson, MS. Attorney Lumumba, a gifted Human Rights and Criminal Defense Attorney, will seek to carry on the vision of The People's Platform that he and his father developed together as he served as campaign co-chair for his father's mayoral bid just one year ago. Atty Lumumba's primary aim in seeking the mayoral seat is a genuine desire to continue the vision of bringing new economic ideas that will benefit ALL of the citizens of Jackson, promote transparency to government affairs, and fortify the City's infrastructure (water, drainage, roads, and sewer) as a means of economic stimulus and growth with revenues.
Attorney Lumumba states, "There is an opportunity now to bring a new vision to Jackson that will provide economic development and needed jobs to greater Jackson and not just downtown. For too long, public funds have been used for private benefit and we want to change that. That is why I am running for Mayor." Chokwe Antar also plans to continue the development and implementation of a holistic plan to significantly reduce crime by fostering more dialogue and programming between officers, citizens, businesses, and community leaders while simultaneously attacking poverty␣a program that his father was excitedly preparing to unveil this month.
Mr. Lumumba intends to stick to his roots and run a grassroots campaign reaching out to professionals and working-class and underserved communities␣ continuing the vision of making the needs of the People the focal point of his campaign. He also plans to continue building and fostering relationships at the state and federal levels to tap into new opportunities and funding sources for the city. Chokwe Antar states, "We intend to make the Peoples␣ voice the centerpiece of this campaign. By that, I mean we will exchange ideas with the people and allow them to have a voice in the working of this city. The people of Jackson will participate in molding this campaign as well as my administration␣creating a participatory democracy. As we say, the people must decide the future of Jackson; we can continue to limp along or will we take bold initiatives to bring economic justice and jobs to the people of this city."