Mayor Frank Melton will argue that he should be allowed to run for reelection as a Democrat before a Jones County judge next week. As required under state law, the Mississippi Supreme Court appointed an out-of-district judge, Billy Joe Landrum, to hear Melton's suit against the Executive Committee of Jackson's Democratic Party. Landrum will hear Melton's petition for judicial review (PDF) on Wednesday, Mar. 25, at 1:30 p.m. in the Hinds County Courthouse.
On Tuesday, the Committee voted unanimously to disqualify Melton, on the grounds that his tax records made him ineligible. Because the mayor filed his homestead exemption in Texas, he could not meet the residency requirement to run, they decided.
Jackson attorney John Reeves, who is also representing the mayor in his federal civil rights trial, said that the Executive Committee had no legal basis for disqualifying the mayor. Homestead exemption is just one of many ways to establish residency, including voter registration, car registration and utilities bills, he argued.
"If the committee is basing their decision on the fact that homestead exemption was filed for in Texas, then they're just legally wrong," Reeves said. "They're so legally wrong as to make it frivolous, a legal farce."
Reeves also contended that the Committee did not follow state law for challenging a candidate's qualifications. Melton did not receive formal notice of a hearing on his qualifications, Reeves said, nor did the mayor have an opportunity to argue his case in front of the Committee.
"Somebody is apparently afraid that the mayor is going to win, and they're pulling out all the stops to make sure he doesn't," Reeves said. "That's the only conclusion that I can come to."
"LEVE DA MAYA A-LOUND." This is too little, too late and I am sure that he will end up on the ballot as a victim and with even more support. Again I say, the Demotratic Executive Committee had every opportunity in the world to STOP frank. They could have done it four years ago. They didn't.
I hope, for the sake of this city, that he is not re-elected; however, we should not use this type of frivority to cancel him out. melton is a master at game playing and the only way to put the KING in CHECK is to stop playing the GAME.
I saw on WAPT this morning that ALL OF A SUDDEN the mayor wants to vigorously enforce the city ordinance about where campaign signs can be placed. It would be funny to wake up one morning and see no one's signs but his. LOL
L.W, you are saying it for a joke, but, I think that it is slowly going down that way. If he wins the case against the Democratic Election Committee, the rest is HISTORY! LOL