JACKSON, Mich. — Jackson County Commissioner Daniel Mahoney has announced he is running for mayor. The decision comes after Mayor Derek Dobies announced he would not run for a third term.
Mahoney, who has been a Jackson County Commissioner for six years and is also the president of the Jackson NAACP chapter, would be the first Black mayor in the history of Jackson.
"It would show a tremendous amount of growth in the way of equity and the way this community looks at people of color. I think it would have a tremendous impact on the community of color in Jackson. You can't aspire to be something you don't have your reflection in. If I've never seen a Black CEO I never would have grown up thinking I could be a CEO," Mahoney said.
Dobies has said he wants Mahoney to run for mayor and would have his full support should he choose to do so.
"I think it would be a historical moment for Jackson to not only continue this progress but to do it with a person of color in this seat. I think it would have a lasting impact on young boys and girls across our community looking up to the highest office that we have in the city and see someone that looks like them," Dobies said.
Mahoney said it's an honor to be endorsed by Dobies, but he wants to be known as more than just a candidate of color.
"I don't want to be looked at as the Black candidate. I want people to judge me based on my character and believing I'm the right person for the job most importantly," Mahoney said.
Gun violence is one issue that Mahoney wants to address if he were elected mayor. He wants to look at the root cause of gun violence in the community instead of addressing issues after they happen.
"Our community has been plagued by gun violence and deaths of a lot of young people by the hands of guns for quite some time now," he said. "Between yesterday and Tuesday of last week there were three funerals I attended, two of which were individuals under 30 years old who died at the hands of guns. There is another person in the community in the hospital who is clinging on to life due to the hands of guns."
Mahoney also wants to continue what he says has been a strong focus on equity within the city. He also hopes to expand development in downtown Jackson.
"I think it is time and overdue for that same development and care that has been given into the downtown community and area to start expanding into the neighborhoods and into the communities of our cities so they can also reap the benefits of seeing their neighborhoods beautified and streets repaired," Mahoney said.
The general election is Nov. 3. There will be a primary on Tuesday, Aug. 3. if there are more than two candidates running for the mayoral seat.
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