On April 4, a group of Jackson residents gathered to voice their concerns about whether or not Frank Melton is eligible to run for mayor of the city of Jackson.
“I want the committee to check the records and have Mr. Melton explain,” said Jim Rice. “I’m afraid there may not be a Democratic candidate if Melton wins the May 3 primary election and then is disqualified.”
If that were to happen, Republican challenger Rick Whitlow would have the race sewn up before the June 7 general election.
At issue is the fact that Melton does not file a homestead exemption in Mississippi. The homestead exemption, filed as a part of federal taxes, has strong precedent for determining where a candidate lives, but it is not conclusive, according to a Mississippi Supreme Court ruling.
Melton, who has lived in Jackson for 18 years, said he files his exemption on his home in Tyler, Texas. However, this is contrary to what he told the committee on March 9.