The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 12/22/8

Filing deadline isn’t until March 6, and the election June 2, but nine men have already expressed interest in running for the post of Jackson mayor.

The latest to state his intent was Eddie Fair, Hinds County tax collector, who made the announcement Wednesday outside City Hall.

No one has officially put in the paperwork, but those who say they will run for the post include incumbent Mayor Frank Melton, a Democrat.

His candidacy, however, could be impeded by his Jan. 5 trial in federal court.

Melton was indicted in July on civil-rights charges related to the damage of a Jackson duplex in August 2006.

If convicted on all counts, he could spend up to 25 years in prison.

Others, so far, who have expressed an interest include: Robert Amos, an adjunct professor at Jackson State University; City Councilman Marshand Crisler; former mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.; former police chief Robert Johnson; state Sen. John Horhn; former school attendance officer Jabari Toins; and longtime TV personality Rick Whitlow, who lost as the Republican nominee to Melton in 2005 (he says he will file as an independent this time).