Jackson mayoral debate take “fiery turn”

Eight of the 10 Democrats running for mayor of Jackson traded jabs at a debate Thursday that -partly because of the format – featured style and substance, drama and comedy.

The debate, held in the Jackson Convention Complex, began as another in a series of staid forums with too many candidates to count giving the same answers on crime, streets and jobs. But it heated up when the candidates were allowed to ask each other questions, beginning with Councilman Marshand Crisler’s questioning of former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.

Crisler asked Johnson, who was defeated in 2005 after serving two terms in office, what he would do differently given “a second, third chance” as mayor.

Johnson replied with a line he said he heard in church. “The God we serve is not a second-chance God. He’s an any-chance God,” he said, drawing “amens” from some in the audience.