Saturday, March 7, 2009

Let the chaos begin

The deadline to run for mayor of Jackson, Mississippi has past. Eighteen people have filed to run for the office. EIGHTEEN! Twelve of them will run as Democrats, two as Republicans, and four as Independents.

One of those twelve Democrats happens to be the incumbent. That many people running for one office would imply otherwise. I know that the current mayor, Frank Melton, has been under fire, especially with a federal trial, which is now rescheduled for May 11, but now that he is running for re-election, it is going to look bad for a lot of political egos.

With that many people running, there will be candidates that will only get single-digit percentages, which never looks good on a political resume. I, for example, have only had one single-digit return, and that was my first time running, at the age of 25.

We have a former mayor, a sitting city councilman, a former district attorney, a sitting state senator, a former police chief, a sitting county tax collector and a union president amongst the candidates. We also have a number of candidates who have run for political office before and have never won an office, but have a distinct following.

If 70,000 voters show up to vote in the Democratic Primary on May 5th, an even draw amongst the twelve candidates will be a little more than eight percent of the vote. EIGHT PERCENT! Of course if one candidate can get 35, 700 votes, or 51 percent of the vote, that candidate will win the primary outright.

It is going to be hard to hold debates or forums with that many candidates, so the voters will have to be very diligent in trying to decipher all of the propaganda that will hit them in the next 57 days. Then they have to be prepared to possibly go to the polls two more times after that.

It is going to be a fun time for the pundits, but a potential nightmare for the candidates and the voters. Let the chaos begin.