Political reality eventually sinks in on even the most hardheaded candidates. Whether or not it has with mayoral candidate Steven Jackson is still an open question. But he should have gotten a big hint this week.
Many political “movers and shakers” attend the monthly meetings of the North Shreveport Business Association (NSBA). Its common for the 100 plus tickets to the luncheon to sell out with a waiting list for cancellations. Such was the case for the mayoral forum on Tuesday (Oct 8).
The NSBA Board decided to only invite 4 candidates. And guess who did not make the cut? Jackson.
Invitations were extended to Ollie Tyler, Adrian Perkins, Jim Taliaferro and Lee O. Savage. The Board considered the most likely candidates to make the run off and limited participation to allow more time for questions to be answered.
Although invited, Savage did not appear. He did not notify anyone that he would be absent, nor provide an explanation before the meeting. He subsequently has posted on social media that he was out of town.
Although Jackson was at the meeting, he was not named as a substitute for Savage. He left the meeting early.
Jackson’s campaign has been marked by ups and downs. And there are more downs than ups.
He kicked off his mayoral bid in June by having an announcement at Proud Mary’s---a venue that was prohibited by its lease from having such an event.
In August, Jackson held a press conference to announce that a threatening flyer was posted on the family home owned by Jackson and his sister. Jackson does not live at that residence.
Two days after this “made for TV” press conference, he turned over the notice to the Louisiana State Police. He stated he did not trust the Caddo Sheriff or the Shreveport Police Department to make an appropriate investigation.
Jackson and his employer the David Raines Community Health Center have refused to answer questions concerning his campaign activities during the business day while on the payroll. His employer is funded with federal dollars.
Jackson was the Commission president in 2107. In December of that year he voted to fund the upkeep and maintenance of the building that houses the health center. Most politicos consider this vote to be a blatant violation of state ethics laws.
There is less than a month to the November 6 primary vote for Shreveport mayor. Its time for forums to be limited to obvious frontrunners.
The NSBA Board was wise in taking this course. Their decision to not invite Jackson was an exercise in good judgment.
Hopefully Shreveport voters will follow course and limit their consideration to serious contenders. Jackson is not in that group.