Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tonight, 380-plus Jacksonians will fill the Jackson Convention Center, anxious to watch the most talked-about political event of the year for the city: the 2009 Democratic Primary Mayoral Debate.
Co-hosted by the Jackson Free Press, 16 WAPT, the Jackson Progressives, Jackson 2000 and Leadership Jackson Alumni Association, the debates will begin at 7 p.m., and you must have a ticket to attend. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and close promptly at 6:30 p.m. Attendees may not bring or wear campaign stickers, buttons, banners, signs or any other campaign materials in to the building.
Event tickets went fast for the event, but you have other options for watching. Those include internet streaming video on jacksonfreepree.com and wapt.com, and a live TV simulcast on WAPT's all-digital channel 16.2. The channel is accessible via Comcast on channels 98 or 208, depending on your level of service.
Nine Democratic mayoral candidates will participate in four rounds of questioning. The first two rounds of questions will come from those submitted by Jackson Free Press readers and 16 WAPT viewers. In the third round, candidates will answer his/her favorite question from the previous two rounds. In the final round, each candidate can ask another candidate a question, with no limit on the number of questions directed to a particular candidate.
Candidates who have confirmed for the debate are: Former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., Councilman Marshand Crisler, State Sen. John Horhn, Jabari Toins, Hinds County tax collector Eddie Fair, former Jackson Police Chief Robert Johnson, Dorothy "Dot" Benford, Brenda R. Scott and John H. Jones Jr. Incumbent Mayor Frank Melton has declined to appear.
Security will be present at the debate and will escort troublemakers from the premises. Disturbances and outburts will warrant expulsion.
And we've got the coolest tickets of all-time! Shouts out to my man Charles at Space-Age Graphix. This debate will be a trendsetter
Frank Melton will not participate in the debate tonight. Is anyone surprise? He did not debate when he first ran for mayor.