Jackson or Mills to be next city councilor
EGLESTON SQ.—Tito Jackson or Cornell Mills will be the new District 7 city councilor when voters make their decision in the March 15 special election.
The election will replace former City Councilor Chuck Turner, who was forced out of office this year following his conviction on federal bribery charges. The district includes Egleston Square and parts of Parkside in Jamaica Plain, as well as parts of Roxbury, Dorchester, the South End and the Fenway.
Jackson, a former state economic development official, took 67 percent of the vote in last month’s preliminary election, which featured seven candidates. Mills, a real estate business owner, finished a distant second. Both candidates are Roxbury residents.
“We’re focusing on what we’ve been focusing on all along: Tito’s message of hope and opportunity in District 7,” said Jackson spokesperson Joe Ferris. Jackson’s campaign has centered on jobs and business creation, while also promising improvements in affordable housing, public safety and education. Ferris declined to comment on Mills.
The Mills campaign did not respond to a Gazette phone call. Mills’ campaign literature focuses on similar issues, but adds a more activist approach. Mills emphasizes his hands-on experience as a mortgage prevention counselor and a former civilian homicide investigator in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
“My work experience has been diverse, but community service and community building has always been the common thread,” Mills says on his campaign web site.
The FBI corruption investigation that is sending both Turner and former local state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson to federal prison is the reason for the open City Council seat, a delicate subject that is handled differently by the Jackson and Mills campaigns.
Mills is Wilkerson’s son and, according to the Dorchester Reporter, has been endorsed by her. Mills’ campaign web site praises Turner as an example of the “impressive legacy of strong and effective leadership” that he would like to continue.
Jackson received an unsolicited endorsement from Turner in 2009, while Turner was under indictment. Jackson had unsuccessfully run for a citywide City Council seat and had not yet announced any District 7 plans.
Jackson’s campaign has avoided talking about Turner, focusing instead on Jackson’s plans.