Lumumba, in our studied opinion, represents possibly the highest reward as mayor but comes with probably the highest risk. The risk is mainly in Lumumba’s lack of experience — in leading organizations of substantial size, navigating political relationships (whether in the public or private sector) and managing a team on which he must depend but by whom he cannot be controlled. In many ways, the risk faced with Lumumba is the very thing that likely has cost Yarber a second term.
When asked what he would change about his first term, Yarber’s response was that he regretted not having someone with experience and knowledge by his side to navigate the politics and relationships a mayor faces each day. He admitted he was not prepared for the job, which is likely true of every first-time mayor. To his credit, however, Lumumba seems to understand this. His father shared with him the same sentiment, that despite the late Lumumba’s life experiences and experience on the city council, none of it had prepared him for being mayor. That kind of self-awareness can be one of Lumumba’s greatest assets if he takes it to heart and follows it, which is still a legitimate concern.
It is clear that Lumumba has grown and matured in the three years since his last run. For one, he is not running in the immediate aftermath of losing his father, which must be a difficult proposition for the most seasoned of politicians. Too, when he ran three years ago he did so with a team that was more his father’s than his own. He has more ownership of his campaign because it is fully his campaign, and that shows….
…Likewise, given the high likelihood of a runoff election, we hope Lumumba will face Horhn in the two-man race. With an ultimate selection between these two candidates, we feel Jackson’s future would be much brighter.