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Busy field looks to unseat controversial Jackson mayor

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News)

A total of four challengers have now publicly announced their intent to run against Jackson Mayor Choke Antar Lumumba in next year’s election.

The latest is Tim Henderson, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who officially announced his campaign on Thursday.

“I am even more resilient and committed to ensuring that folks have a safe place to live and cleaning up this city,” Henderson said in an official statement. “You deserve better. And working together, we can make life better for everyone.”

The Mississippi Valley State graduate spent 24 years in the U.S. Air Force and also spent time serving as the executive director of Leadership Prominence, Inc. in Jackson.

Henderson’s announcement follows conservative radio host Kim Wade’s declaration for mayoral candidacy in early May. Wade, through his daily show on WYAB, has been critical of Mayor Lumumba and the city of Jackson since he was elected in 2017.

“We need some new ideas,” Wade said at a Jacksonians 4 Jackson event earlier this month. “We cannot continue to go in the direction we’ve been going.”

Former Edwards Mayor Marcus Wallace also recently announced his candidacy on social media. Wallace served two terms leading the small town about 30 miles west of Jackson but now resides in the capital city.

“Under my leadership, our clergymen and women in this city will play a very vital role in helping to transform our communities and the minds in it,” Wallace wrote in a social media post.

Corinthian Sanders Sr., a revenue analyst for the Department of Revenue, added his name back into the field in early May. Sanders previously lost to Lumumba in the 2017 election.

“Issues such as poverty, economic development, education, and infrastructure are complex at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” Sanders said in an official statement. “However, to tackle these challenges and position Jackson as the model city, we must prioritize addressing crime and public safety.”

Lumumba announced his intention to run for a third term earlier this year. Since taking office two terms ago, Lumumba has had a contentious stint as the capital city’s mayor.

He has received local and national backlash for crises such as a lengthy water emergency in 2022 where more than 100,000 Jacksonians were left without clean water for over a month, and a homicide rate that has swelled under his watch. Homicides in Jackson exceeded 100 for a fourth consecutive year in 2023 with the rate per 100,000 citizens tripling over Lumumba’s six years in office. In response, action was taken by the state to reduce surging crime.

“As it stands today, it is certainly my intent to run again,” Lumumba told members of the press in February of this year. “If anything changes, I’ll notify you.”

Primary elections for the mayoral election are set for the first Tuesday in May of next year, while the general elections will follow in June. Lumumba’s second term will officially end on July 1 of 2025.

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