This new Harvey Johnson is needed

His concern about the emotional toll elections have on family members was sincere, this being his fifth campaign.

At 62, Harvey Johnson Jr. has had enough success that retirement had to be a consideration. But there is something about Jackson that couldn’t keep Johnson away from pursuing the mayor’s office. Only he can answer what that something is. Only he can speak to why a man who has already had the job, knowing its rigors, would choose to take it on again.

In street vernacular, he put an Election Day beat-down Tuesday on a former city councilman who could not persuade voters that Jackson needed to look past old leadership and turn to youth. After victory was obvious, the smile on Johnson’s face was different this time around. It was a smile of vindication that told more of a story than words.

He had just experienced redemption of great magnitude, visibly grateful that voters will forgive and forget and, by the power of the ballot box, acknowledge when they have erred. “Voters are never wrong,” Johnson said recently. It was a reference to his sound defeat four years ago at the hands of the late Frank Melton. He makes no excuses: He simply got beat.