Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Fans of retiring councilman Ben Allen threw a thank-you party in his honor at Bravo!, in Highland Village, on Monday.
A crowd of more than 100 made an appearance, ranging in personalities from Association of South Jackson Neighborhoods President Genny Seeley to Gov. Haley Barbour.
Secretary of State candidate Delbert Hosemann arranged the party, working in conjunction with Bravo! managing partner Jeff Good and a slew of Allen's friends and supporters.
"I've never met anyone who loves his city more than Ben Allen," Good told the JFP. "His passion toward our community and his fortitude to do the heavy lifting of his elected position are formidable. He's a unique guy."
Allen, mobbed by admirers, fans and former council members, said the event "blew me away."
"Since the day I went into the hospital I've been covered with love," said Allen, who retired recently due to health problems. "I've been in Jackson a long time. Both my kids went to school here. I've had the chance to know a lot of people, and I appreciate every one of them. I was really overwhelmed with the kindness."
Allen said he would not rule out another stint into politics, but said he would greatly miss serving on the council.
"Of all the things I'll miss, I'd say I'll miss my colleagues on the council most of all. I'd take a bullet for any one of them," Allen said.
Four candidates are vying for Allen's seat on the council on Aug. 14: David Archie, John Ditto, Lenard Jenkins and Jeff Weill.