Mayoral candidate responds to fake websites

By Othor Cain

Contributing Writer

Chokwe Lumumba

Chokwe Lumumba

The 2017 Jackson mayoral election season is officially underway and the campaign trickery has begun. Some candidates found themselves earlier this week involved with fake websites or what is being billed as ‘cyber deception.’

The deception

When visitors clicked on the web addresses and in hopes of viewing information relative to the mayoral campaigns of State Senator John Horhn or Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham, they were automatically routed to the campaign website for Attorney Choke Antar Lumumba, who is also seeking the city’s top job. Both domains are registered with the popular website designer and were purchased anonymously.

The action

Lumumba quickly separated himself from the deception. In a telephone interview, he said, “I am a man of principle and believe that our campaign and the work that we are doing is strong enough to stand on its on merit and we would never stoop to this level.”

Lumumba’s team shortly after the telephone interview released a statement on Facebook that said in part, “we are not responsible for these false sites and are investigating the matter to determine how and who the someone was that created false links that lead to our website. We take this very seriously. We do not engage in media slandering of any form, nor do we believe in false promotion.”

Horhn told WLBT, “It’s pretty childish that pranksters would resort to such activity…they need to grow up.” Graham, who refused to actually comment on the issue simply said, “we are moving forward with our campaign and our plans to make Jackson better.”

The resolve

A few hours after we broke the story, the anonymous buyer decided to redirect visitors to sites or pages actually connected to the candidates. In Horhn’s case it goes to his Facebook page because currently he does not have an official campaign website. For Graham, it goes to his campaign’s website, however, it shows that the site is under construction. Lumumba sat down with this writer for a one on one interview. “We’ve been down this road before and we want to make it perfectly clear, that not only are we not behind these antics but we are focused on real issues and real solutions to the problems facing Jackson,” he shared.

“There are so many good things going on and we want to celebrate those as well.” Lumumba shared his thoughts on the dark financial cloud that lingers over the city. “Jackson has had a history of being too top heavy with its administrations; this current administration is no different nor an exception, he said. “But Jackson is pregnant with possibilities.”

Lumumba shared some possibilities that could change the direction of the city. “We’ve got to understand where we are and where we are going and we’ve got to chart a clear path of getting there,” he said. Lumumba favors upgrading parking meters around town and making them more accessible and ensuring that they work. However, he is opposed to outsourcing the work.

“I think we have to look within…we can do the job, we’ve got to set priorities and expectations and then demand accountability,” he said. “We can do this.” Lumumba is headed overseas this week to build relationships and promote Jackson. “The world is watching Jackson, I didn’t really understand that until my father was running for mayor…people are watching and want to do business in Jackson,” he said.

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