The “I don’t want to debate” Mayor Melton

Mayor Frank Melton will not attend any debates leading up to the May 5 Democratic primary, his campaign said Tuesday.

Instead of going to Thursday’s debate, Melton announced he will host a “Meet the Mayor” fundraiser open to the public at the same time.

Erik Fleming, Melton’s campaign co-chairman, said the date worked best for the mayor, adding the timing “actually fell in our laps.”

Melton’s opponents immediately attacked his decision.

“If I had a record such as his, I wouldn’t want to try to defend it either,” said candidate and former Jackson Police Chief Robert Johnson. “He’s had four years to get his message out. Why he can’t stand and tell people Thursday night why he should be elected (I don’t know). I would run to a friendly crowd, too.”

Clarion Ledger