Mayor Frank Melton pulled a former state representative from his short list for Municipal Court judge on Monday, choosing a local trial attorney instead.

Melton had asked the Jackson City Council last month to put former state Rep. John Reeves on the bench to replace Judge Melvin Priester. That confirmation hearing was never held.

On Monday, Melton withdrew that nomination and asked council members to put Reeves on the city’s redevelopment authority instead. The mayor previously had auditioned Reeves for both the redevelopment and airport authorities.

For municipal judge, Melton nominated Bridgett McDade Clayton, a Jackson trial lawyer.

The switch followed public questioning from Council President Leslie Burl McLemore about whether the city should choose a judge that better reflected the city’s demographics. He said he thought a black woman would be the best choice to serve on the court. Jackson is more than 70 percent African American.

Clarion Ledger