by Alan Lange
Well, it’s only another 26 days to the election, and by all outward appearances Rick Whitlow is ready to make his run for the Mayor’s office.
Though not as well funded as Johnson or Melton, Whitlow opted for the approach of letting the “big guys” beat up on each other and not jumping into the fray. By conserving his resources and energy, his thought process was to have resources and focus to make his case to voters in May.
An interesting dynamic in this entire campaign is that all three candidates had big-time “name ID” (everyone knew them). Therefore, none of the candidates were really forced to spend money to buy name awareness. They just had to simply reformulate voters perceptions about their abilities and to get their message out.
Can Rick make a real run at it? It still looks like an uphill battle. With Melton having received 25,000+ votes in a city that rarely cracks 40,000 votes historically in a general election, odds look long. I will go on record now to say I would be shocked if general election turnout will get out of the 33-35K range.
He has the Republican Party’s support. On paper, Whitlow is betting that a silent majority of Republicans will come out, and on paper, it’s possible. But he would have to have a GOTV effort like nothing ever seen before in Jackson. A low turnout and a slip or two from Melton and . . . . who knows?