Tuesday, May 12, 2009

EDITORIAL >> Fletcher, Elliott in June runoff

Alderman Gary Fletcher and Alderman Kenny Elliott received the most votes in yesterday’s Jacksonville mayoral election and are headed for a runoff on June 2.

The outcome was hardly a surprise — they’re probably the best known of all the candidates, and the only ones with experience in city government. Fletcher, the top vote-getter, appears to have the best organization, and was ably assisted by Jacksonville businessman and former alderman Jim Durham.

Fletcher has portrayed himself as the insurgent candidate who would bring sweeping changes to city government.

Former city manager Murice Green is running Elliott’s campaign, which has relied on support from the mayor and several aldermen.

Fletcher and Elliott have appeared at several public forums during the campaign, and they will have another chance to make their case before the voters at a candidates’ forum at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday at the Jacksonville Community Center.

The event should be well attended and will give voters a good opportunity to judge the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses and could decide the election.

This is Jacksonville’s first real contested mayoral race in 23 years, so there’s no excuse for voter apathy. The runoff will determine the city’s future for years to come.