The mayor of Magnolia, Mississippi, Anthony Witherspoon, has been publicly polling social media to gather feedback on him as a candidate in the 2019 Governor’s race.
Witherspoon told the public the desired portions of a prospective platform would include the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana, $15/hr minimum wage increase, and fully funded public education, just to name a few.
This comes on the heels of news over the weekend that State Rep. Robert Foster may challenge Lt. Governor Tate Reeves in a gubernatorial primary.
Witherspoon was elected Mayor of Magnolia in 2014 during a special election where be beat two other opponents at 54% of the vote. He served the remaining three years of former Mayor Melvin Harris’ term. His goals then were to focus on jobs and development while addressing issues among the city board.
He was not silent during the recent U.S. Senate Election between Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy. He wholeheartedly joined a dozen other African American mayors and endorsed Espy and held events on Espy’s behalf in the election prior to the two entering into a runoff.
If Witherspoon does enter the race as a Democrat, he would be the second Democrat to do so. Current Attorney General Jim Hood announced his candidacy in recent weeks.
Witherspoon’s profile has been steadily increasing. Just two months ago the Mayor went on a mission to find the person who was flying the state flag featuring the Confederate battle emblem, after the city of Magnolia passed an ordinance that banned flying the flag on city property. According to WTJV the mayor said, “It’s disappointing when anybody breaks the law so again we are just going to apply what we were sworn to do and that is to uphold the law.”
This summer, he also served as monitor for the Venezuela elections.
Witherspoon has not only been outspoken about social issues statewide, he has made it a priority of Magnolia to pursue policies of non-discrimination, as you can see in an interview with the ACLU last year.
Mayor Witherspoon received a BS from Belhaven University in Business Management, before going on to get a Masters in Public Administration. He then began his PHD in Higher Education Leadership at Jackson State University in 2017.
He has served as the Owner of Sankofa Academy and President of Safeguard Insurance in the last 20 years (according to his Linked In page).
Y’all Politics has reached out to the Mayor for an interview and is awaiting his response.