By Chinyere Lavina Brown
Special to The Mississippi LinkPictured are (from left) Edwards Mayor Marcus Wallace, Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman, Marshand Crisler for Jackson’s Mayor Tony Yarber, State Rep. Edward Blackmon, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs and Meridian Mayor Percy Bland. PHOTO BY CHINYERE LAVINA BROWN
The outcome of the Mississippi primaries shows that rallies like the one on March 3, at Tougaloo College were successful.
The Hillary for Mississippi supporters and volunteers joined mayors from across the state at the historic Woolworth Chapel on campus to launch its final stretch before the March 8 primaries to “Get Out The Vote” in Mississippi.
The Hillary for America campaign stop at Tougaloo College hosted mayors from across the state who came to show publicaly their endorsement of the candidate. They were introduced by Gloria Williams of the Hillary Finance Team.
Williams proudly pointed to her lapel pen announcing “I am a Hill Starter” as she announced that 54 mayors in Mississippi had endorsed Clinton for President.
Students and community residents joined the campaign workers with expectations that former President Bill Clinton would make a stop there since he was in the city March 3, but soon learned he had departed Jackson on his way to Baton Rouge, La.
However, Williams kept the audience in high spirits as she introduced each mayor and seasoned politician State Rep. Edward Blackmon. The mayors who gave compelling reasons for their support of Hillary Clinton for President were Percy Bland of Meridian, George Flaggs of Vicksburg, Parker Wiseman of Starkville and Marcus Wallace of Edwards. Jackson’s Mayor Tony Yarber was represented by Marshand Crisler, city deputy chief administrative officer.
Flaggs first emphasized that he wanted Clinton to win, “so that the Donald (Trump) does not.” He is depending on the young people of this state to get out and vote. “I have confidence in you, young people,” he said. Flaggs added that he had high hopes in the youth using all social media sites, emails, and word of mouth to spread the word to “vote Hillary Clinton.”
Wiseman told the gathering that “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the only person who can implement the policies necessary to give all Americans the best opportunities to success and prosperity, … keeping the same policies that President Obama has in place.”
The Starkville mayor said, “Republicans cannot deliver. We have been involved in two foreign wars and Republicans have turned surpluses into deficits. And in almost eight years President Obama and his team have brought the unemployment rate under 5 percent. We now have a richer more prosperous economy.”
Crisler said this is one of the strangest election cycles he has ever seen. And on behalf of Mayor Yarber, he said, “The reason why Tony Yarber and I support Sen. Clinton is because she represents the people. She doesn’t care about making people feel good. She is trying to move this country forward.”
He also stated that America was a great country and still is a great country. The problem he said is “we have just been divided; we have been separated and we have not been working together; it is about unity. Urban cities like Jackson can greatly benefit from her projects.”
Wallace talked about the neglect of local cities and the neglect of people who are underserved. He said not only does his town of Edwards need help with its infrastructure but also rebuilding the lives of its people who have been neglected for the past 40 years.
Wallace said support for Clinton will need more than speeches; it will require monetary support. “Ten dollars will go a long way from each of us in a campaign. Don’t forget that it takes money for Hillary to win.”
Mayor Bland of Meridian put his emphasis on which candidate would respect his vote, giving the rallying call: “Respect my vote!”
Blackmon, a Tougaloo graduate, has high hopes that when Sen. Clinton and Trump face off, “Clinton will show her great qualifications and high honor that she has for this country.”
Blackmon referred to Trump as the leader of the Republican Party that become a “clown show.” “I am pretty sure that we will defeat him in the end,” said Blackmon. “We have one mission Tuesday, what we want to have happen is percentage, we want Clinton to have 90 percent of the vote, that should be our goal.”
Blackmon and the mayors got their wish as the state of Mississippi came in overwhelmingly in support of Sen. Clinton.