Was David Jordan trying to orchestrate his successor on the Greenwood City Council when he withdrew his candidacy just before last Friday’s qualifying deadline?
It looks that way.
But those who are grousing about it should partially blame themselves for not paying attention.
When Dorothy “Dot” Glenn qualified in late January to run against Jordan in the Democratic primary, that should have raised some eyebrows. The two have been political allies, including during Glenn’s yearlong stint on the City Council before she was kicked off after a state court found, and the Supreme Court affirmed, that she had been elected from a ward in which she did not live.
Although politics can be a back-stabbing business, it would be highly unusual for Glenn to challenge an icon such as Jordan unless she suspected he might not really want to serve a record 10th term in the job. At his age (87) and with another political position in the Mississippi Legislature, it was not all that shocking that Jordan decided to give someone else the opportunity to serve on the City Council.
Still, it was disappointing that he did not publicly announce his intentions and do so weeks earlier. An open seat almost certainly would have brought out more candidates, had they known it was going to be open. Jordan successfully sued in the 1980s to give voters in this city more options on who represents them, but his 11th hour change of heart on running for reelection appears as though it was designed to do the opposite.
Others, though, could have played this game, too. They could have qualified, waited Jordan out and, if he didn’t withdraw, drop out themselves if they didn’t think he was beatable.
It also must be mentioned that although the retiring councilman’s timing was suspicious, he could have waited until after the qualifying deadline and withdrawn then instead. It would have accomplished the same result — Glenn running uncontested — provided that Jordan withdrew in time to get his name removed from the ballot.
The original version of this editorial had an incorrect age for David Jordan.