Melton leading money race

Democratic challenger Frank Melton has raised $10,198 more than two-term incumbent Harvey Johnson Jr. in the nearly $1 million race for mayor of Jackson.

Melton has raised $454,757 to Johnson’s $444,559 heading into Tuesday’s primary election. Melton’s camp also has spent more money than Johnson’s.

Each camp turned in pre-primary campaign finance reports Tuesday evening. Annell Smith, a third Democratic candidate, did not submit a report and could not be reached for comment. The primary winner will face Republican Rick Whitlow in the June 7 general election. Whitlow did not have to submit a report yet since there is no GOP primary. The four-year position pays $120,000 annually.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Johnson and Melton’s fund raising between Jan. 1 and April 23 are the amounts of each donation. Johnson came in with 12 donations of $2,500 or more while Melton had 29 such donations. Johnson made up ground in his $500 to $1,000 donation range.

Melton campaign finance co-chairman Jeff Good, owner of two Jackson restaurants, is a former Johnson supporter. “Literally, almost everyone who has been a donor to Johnson in the past is a Frank donor,” Good said.

Clarion Ledger
4/27/5