Jacksonians will be going to the polls for the third time in four weeks tomorrow, casting their votes for mayor and city council seats. In the race for mayor, Harvey Johnson, Jr., who was the city's first African American mayor, serving from 1997 to 2005, will face four Independents and one Republican.
In Ward 7, six-term Democratic incumbent Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon faces Republican Ponto Downing and Independent Luther Latham.
Barrett-Simon has long impressed The Jackson Free Press with her "quiet, steady resolve to get the city's business done." In the 2006 interview, linked above, Barrett-Simon talked about her years on the Jackson City Council (she was first elected in 1985), working with the mayor's office and the challenges of the job. A life-long Belhaven resident, Barrett-Simon led the fight for the Council to investigate the late Mayor Frank Melton and has been a strong city and neighborhood advocate. For these reasons and more, the Jackson Free Press endorses her to resume her duties in Ward 7, and hope that Ward 7 readers will give her their vote.
In Ward 6, Democrat Tony Yarber faces Independent Samuel Kazery. The JFP endorsed Yarber April 29, going into the Democratic primary, and we continue to stand by him in the general election.
"Tony Yarber wants to transform Ward 6 the same way he's turned around Marshall Elementary School as its principal," we wrote in our endorsement. "Yarber is an exciting young candidate, and his commitment to community organizing is a promising sign that he'll serve the interests of South Jackson. We look forward to seeing him in action."
In other Jackson wards, City Council candidates are running unopposed: Incumbent Republican Jeff Weill, Ward 1; Democrat Chokwe Lumumba, Ward 2; incumbent Democrat Kenneth Stokes, Ward 3; incumbent Democrat Frank Bluntson, Ward 4; and incumbent Democrat Charles Tillman, Ward 5.
Barrett is in her SIXTH term?
If only someone as equally pragmatic as Ms Barrett-Simon would run I'd be supportive of them, but her opposition in the last couple of elections seem clueless on how municipal gov't operates.
- Jeff Lucas