Debate is becoming heated in the run-up to the Democratic primary for the Jackson mayoral race ? and a new website is in place from which voters might glean information on the race as it moves into high gear.
JacksonsNextMayor.com is the brainchild of Alan Lange, businessman and political junkie from Jackson. As the proprietor of the long-running site JacksonCrime.org, Lange has been collating news snippets from Jackson media concerning crime in the Capitol City for over two years now, an experience he has used in designing the new site focusing on the mayoral race.
“We’re an aggregator ? not a reporter,” Lange said, explaining that the site was designed to pull information about the major candidates together in one place for the benefit of voters. Lange has solicited information from the campaigns of Democratic incumbent Harvey Johnson, Democratic challenger Frank Melton, and Republican candidate Rick Whitlow. Each man is profiled on the site, with the information accessible through a mouse click on the image of each candidate at the top of the home page.
“We get all the press releases from all the candidates. We run them as soon as we can get them out,” said Lange. Other posts include links to stories in the Clarion-Ledger, Northside Sun, Mississippi Link, BlackMississippi.com . . . as well as the three major TV stations, WLBT, WAPT, and WJTV.
Some posts are guest editorials, such as one written by Rick Whitlow praising the efforts of the Guardian Angels in Jackson, as well as one written by Melton supporter and unsuccessful Hinds County district attorney candidate Wilson Carroll, speculating on the spread of anonymous emails to various people concerning the mayoral race. Others are editorials from Lange himself, applying his analysis to events of the day.
But Lange said he’s interested in what all comers have to say, which is why he has offered all candidates access to publishing material on the site, even though he is on the record as a Melton supporter, both verbally and financially. “We want to encourage debate, we want people to vote, and we want people to be educated,” Lange said.