Lumumba Wins Mayoral Primary, Two Ward Seats Head to Run-Off on April 27

Mayor Chokwe A Lumumba, flanked by his family at the Hilton Garden Inn, celebrated his win in the Democratic Primary election Tuesday. He won with 69% of the votes. Photo by Kayode Crown

Mayor Chokwe A Lumumba, flanked by his family at the Hilton Garden Inn, celebrated his win in the Democratic Primary election Tuesday. He won with 69% of the votes. Photo by Kayode Crown

With 13,735 votes for Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba in the Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday, he won the Democratic nomination and heads to the June 8 general election to face Jason Wells, who won the Republican primary, and three independent candidates: Charlotte Reeves, Shafeqah Lodree and Les Tannehill.

Lumumba got more percentage of the primary votes this year—69%—than in 2017, where he drew 55% with 18,617 votes. His rivals this year, Kenneth Wilson and Patty Patterson, received 3,929 votes (18.54%), and 2,417 (12.14%), respectively.

"We believe that every resident of this city is deserving of their dignity moving away from cycles of humiliation," the mayor told the press Tuesday night at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown. "I want to thank you for your confidence in me, your confidence in this administration, your confidence and your hope that we can do better working together."

With 293 votes (69%), Republican candidate Wells defeated Ponto Downing, who drew 105 votes (27.76%), in the only Republican primary race yesterday. Wells told WAPT's Scott Simmons on live TV yesterday night after his win that people should trust him to fulfill his promise to pay water bills and reduce crimes. "I’ve got the passion for the citizens of Jackson, that's where my loyalty stands, and I want them to understand (that) once I become Mayor, they are going to win at the same time," he said.

Wells was also the Republican nominee for mayor four years ago, telling the Jackson Free Press then that he wanted to first be mayor, then become president of the United States.

Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes got 2,042 votes (67.24%) to win the Democratic primary election in that ward, defeating E. Sirena Wilson who drew 620 votes (20.41%) and Gwen Ward Chapman with 371 (12.22%). Council President and Ward 6 Councilman Aaron Banks won with 1,701 votes—69%, defeating Patricia Jackson who drew 564 votes (23%) and Brad Quinn Davis with 181 votes (7.38%)

Council Vice President and Ward 6 Councilman Charles Tillman, with 42.61% of the votes (931), heads to a run-off on April 27 against Vernon Hartley with 35.19% (769 votes). In Ward 4, Jacqueline Amos will face off in the run-off with Brian C. Grizzell. Amos received 1,143 votes (33.95%) and Grizzell 1,103 votes (33.76%).

Ward 2 Councilwoman Angelique Lee and Ward 7 Councilwoman Virgi Lindsay were unchallenged in the primary election. The only Republican on the city council, Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote, is also unchallenged.

Lumumba said his administration's achievements include improved City bond ratings, accelerated road pavement, winning Siemens’ settlement and maintaining control over Jackson Public School, which has weathered a State of Mississippi takeover in recent years. He promised development on Highway 18 and Highway 80 corridors.

"We're coming for south Jackson, we're coming for west Jackson," he said. "And I say that not because I love one part of our city more than another part of our city, but because I realize that when the residents of west and south Jackson leave our city because they don't get the quality of life they deserve, that ultimately means an increased burden on us."

Lumumba said that he will prioritize the people's safety concerns. "We do believe that our residents should be able to go outside of their doors without hearing gunshots," he said. "But we also understand that we don't have the ability to solve that problem by ourselves. And so we call on you, we call on you to be a part of what we are building. We are building a city beyond contradiction, a city which recognizes the inherent dignity in every single person and child."

City of Jackson Election Commissioner Linda Sanders told the Jackson Free Press that there were about 400 mail-in ballots received and 100 affidavit ballots cast on Tuesday. The official result will be released later in the month.

Email story tips to city/county reporter Kayode Crown at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @kayodecrown.

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