War of words heats up Millington mayoral race

A war of words is brewing in Millington's mayoral race between the current mayor and a longtime alderman.

The controversy began with an ad in the Millington Star that said mayoral candidate Richard Hodges graduated high school at age 20 and had no military service. But Hodges says that's nonsense.

"I was 18 years old when I graduated from Millington High School, and here's a picture of when I was in the naval reserve right here in Millington in 1970."

Hodges says incorrect information is one thing, but he's questioning how Mayor Terry Jones obtained that information.

"How he could go to the school and get information like that, which has to be requested by the individual student or person to get those kind of facts, and then get them wrong?"

Mayor Jones said he received incorrect information from speaking with people in the community. That information had already gone to press before he could pull it.

"I had almost 2,500 flyers ready to go out," said Jones. "I had to call the company, pull all those back. They were on the way to the post office. We made all the changes on those. So, I made every effort."

While Jones maintains his innocence, Hodges plans to launch an investigation after the election on September 30.

"I want to find out exactly how he obtained the information," said Hodges. "And plus, I want to find out what he intended to do with the information."

The mayor says he's truly sorry for the mistake.

"I completely apologize. All I was trying to do was put the facts out there. His graduation date, my graduation date. My background, his background. And just to come up two days before an election, then all of a sudden it's a big issue."

Meanwhile, information surfaced about Hodges' business license lapsing. He says his payment is a little late, but he plans on taking care of it soon.

Both candidates seem shocked by the campaign's negative turn.

"We just want to run a good, clean election and talk about the issues because the people deserve that," said Hodges.

That's something the candidates can agree on.

"Trying to get the Millington voters distracted from the real issues - and that's to keep Millington moving forward."

The polls are open Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.