By Malorie Paine
JACKSON, TN — A runoff election will take place June 18 between two candidates for the Jackson mayor position.
Jerry Woods and Scott Conger received the most votes, but neither received enough votes initially to secure the position. Kim Buckley, administrator of elections for Madison County, said according to the city charter, candidates must receive 50% of the votes plus one.
This runoff election is the first in Buckley’s 28 years of working at the election commission. Buckley attributes the number of candidates to the need for a runoff.
“There were five candidates in the election, and mathematically, it just makes sense,” Buckley said. Because 50% plus one of the votes are needed for one candidate, Buckley said it would have been hard to achieve that without a runoff.
There have already been more than 4,000 voters turn out for early voting, which opened May 29 and closes on June 13. Buckley expects even more to turn out on election day, June 18.
Woods is running on a platform that he hopes will help “Move Jackson Forward.” His platform includes increasing support for the school system and youth-related services for all children, enhancing neighborhoods that will increase the quality of life for all citizens and improving Jackson’s economic status and outlook for present and future citizens.
Woods says his decades of leadership provides him the ability to find solutions, navigate complicated issues and get things done.
Woods has been very active in education throughout his career serving as a principal to many schools and even overseeing instruction Jackson Madison County school system. Recently, Woods served as the Interim Executive Vice President of Lane College. He’s served in various community organizations as well. He has served as the president of the 100 Black Men of West Tennessee and he’s been a contributor to the Jackson Madison County Branch of the NAACP.
Woods secured 27% of the votes during the initial election and is hoping to beat Conger in the runoff.
Conger’s platform includes attracting younger citizens back to the area and making sure they stay in Jackson, improving public safety, expanding parks and more.
The runoff election costs the City of Jackson additional funds because it is a standalone election, Buckley said.
Madison County poll workers are utilized for the election, and the City of Jackson will be required to reimburse the county for those costs, Buckley said. Buckley said she could not provide an exact breakdown but that the City of Jackson does pay additional money for the runoff election.
Buckley said anyone who is unsure of where to vote on June 18 can go to the Madison County Election Commission’s website. Early voting is open weekdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. until June 13. Early voting is only available at the Madison County Agriculture Complex located at 311 North Parkway in Jackson.
On June 18, there will be 19 different polling locations available. Buckley said the one thing all voters should remember is that the runoff election is only open to those who live within the city limits of Jackson.