TUPELO • Although Todd Jordan hasn’t been elected mayor of the All-America Metropolis, his marketing campaign has typically appeared extra like a transition in latest weeks.
After defeating a three-term member of the Tupelo Metropolis Council in April’s Republican major, Jordan and his marketing campaign have met with 5 of the town’s seven present council members. In these conferences, he’s been briefed about ongoing points and initiatives in these wards.
Each mayoral candidates allowed the Every day Journal to shadow their marketing campaign for a day to achieve higher perception into how their campaigns are functioning and the way every candidate would possibly govern, if elected.
With a reporter current, Jordan requested Ward 1 Councilman Markel Whittington what the way forward for the Bel Air Middle ought to be. He requested Ward 2 Councilman Lynn Bryan if extra code enforcement officers are wanted within the metropolis. He wished Ward 7 Councilman Willie Jennings to inform him what enhancements, if any, ought to be made to Theron Nichols Park.
However Jordan’s tour of the town with the native council members was extra notable for what he didn’t say, quite than what he did say.
As a substitute of asking the council members for his or her opinion of concepts or insurance policies he desires to implement, the mayoral hopeful largely listened as council members relayed the context and historical past of their wards.
Some concepts did floor from Jordan. He talked about the potential of including bike lanes on Butler Highway and a flip lane on Endville Highway for automobiles turning Tupelo Christian Preparatory College.
“What massive initiatives would you wish to see occur right here?” he requested council members.
To realize a higher perception into personnel points, he additionally held a lunch assembly at Harvey’s with former Tupelo Mayor Glen McCullough, who served from 1997-1999.
Like the town’s subsequent mayor, McCullough needed to appoint a police chief and different key division head posts. Jordan listened to the one-time mayor, with out providing a lot indication of how he himself would possibly deal with these key appointments if elected.
Each Jordan and his Democratic opponent, Victor Fleitas, have run muted campaigns largely targeted on assembly with voters and motivating supporters. The 2 have disagreed, however have largely averted adverse assaults towards one another.
Jordan’s technique has been to tout his credentials as a Tupelo native and an area athlete, unite the town’s Republican voters round him, spend cash over the past two weeks of the election cycle on promoting and implement a powerful floor sport for canvassing in neighborhoods.
Former Tupelo athlete turns to native politics
Jordan is a local of the All-America Metropolis and graduated from Tupelo Excessive College, the place he was on the soccer staff, in 1989. He attended Mississippi State College from 1989 to 1993 and was a quarterback and a punter for the college’s soccer staff. After graduating from school, he performed for a short stint with the San Antonio Texans within the Canadian Soccer League.
He returned to Tupelo in 1995 and began a stress washing enterprise. In 2006, he started working for Tommy Morgan, Inc. as an actual property agent, the place he stays employed.
In 2019, he started his profession in native politics by defeating incumbent Lee County supervisor Tony Roper.
In his practically year-and-half as a supervisor, Jordan has confronted consequential choices. He was the one supervisor to vote towards instituting a masks mandate for county-owned property, rejected calls to relocate a Accomplice monument in downtown Tupelo and joined different supervisors in asking for the facility to position a countywide gross sales tax enhance on a poll for voter approval.
County politics mixes into metropolis mayor’s race
One in all Jordan’s major strengths – his political expertise – might additionally function a legal responsibility with some voters.
Jordan has served as a member of the Lee County Board of Supervisors for the previous two years. With this background, Jordan has pledged to finish long-persisting friction between the town of Tupelo and Lee County that has lengthy endured. Voters in his supervisors district have been a powerful bloc of help inside the metropolis.
However, Jordan has additionally confronted questions on actions he’s taken as a supervisor, together with his stance on rebuilding the Lee County Grownup Jail.
Lee County owns the native jail, not the town of Tupelo, however Jordan’s entrance into metropolis politics has injected the problem of the jail into the municipal race.
County supervisors not too long ago proposed asking Lee County voters – together with Tupelo voters – to approve a countywide gross sales tax enhance. Supervisors made clear that they meant to fund a brand new jail with this extra income.
The Mississippi Legislature didn’t give supervisors the authority to carry such a referendum, however the supervisors nonetheless say they plan to deal with the jail in some vogue.
In a latest mayoral debate hosted by the Every day Journal, Jordan reiterate his view that the jail must be rebuilt, quite than renovated.
“We don’t have to throw good cash at an insufficient facility,” Jordan mentioned.
The most recent proposals places the price of a brand new regulation enforcement complicated, to incorporate a jail, at round $80 million. Fleitas, the Democratic mayoral candidate, has opposed this concept, making it one of many sharpest variations between the candidates.
A tax enhance of some sort would almost definitely be wanted to pay for a brand new jail. Within the mayoral debate, Jordan known as a tax enhance a final resort, however wouldn’t rule it out.
Subsequent mayor might revisit inexpensive housing insurance policies
The following mayor may also inherit a lot of ongoing efforts to encourage the development of inexpensive housing, a prime challenge for native voters based on Every day Journal reporting.
Himself an actual property agent, Jordan has dedicated to evaluating totally different properties owned by the town with a watch towards residential growth.
Nonetheless, Jordan additionally believes the town lacks every kind of housing – backed, low-income, middle-income, and high-income.
Earlier this 12 months, metropolis officers celebrated the development of backed housing models within the Ida B. Wells Road space. The entire models are full, with a ready checklist of round 200 individuals, signaling a necessity for extra backed housing.
Plans from the present mayoral administration name for the development of extra such alongside Lawndale Drive. Jordan has remained noncommittal about whether or not he would proceed with these plans.
Jordan will not reply questions on police chief course of
Jordan has repeatedly mentioned that he would depend on some form of impartial panel or board to guage police chief candidates.
Within the mayoral debate, he expanded that concept even additional to incorporate two boards.: one to kind by purposes and one other to decide on which candidates ought to be interviewed.
Regardless of widespread settlement amongst key officers that the appointment of a brand new police chief will probably be a extremely consequential resolution, Jordan has repeatedly declined to reveal who would sit on these impartial boards.
“I would like them to be, identical to I mentioned, skilled, modern and engaged,” Jordan mentioned. “I would like them to have the ability to exit in the neighborhood themselves and be a part of our neighborhood.”
In accordance with marketing campaign finance studies filed with the town’s municipal clerk, Jordan has obtained $61,723 in donations and spent $28,667.
Jordan faces Democratic nominee Victor Fleitas, an lawyer. Fleitas has run a marketing campaign centered round a want to proceed the town’s progress that it’s skilled over the previous 12 years and investing in Tupelo communities that want extra infrastructure work, akin to Ward 7.
If elected, Jordan’s seat on the Lee County Board of Supervisors can be stuffed by a particular election in November.
District 1 Supervisor Phil Morgan beforehand mentioned if Jordan vacates his seat, he would advocate appointing Todd Jordan’s spouse, Christy Jordan, to fill the emptiness till the particular election.
The final election to determine the winner of the mayoral race is June 8. The winner of the town’s mayoral race will take workplace on July 1.