Little Rock’s first Black mayor faces reelection fight as more than half of voters say he won’t make it ‘real and true’
It was one of the great ironies of the 2012 election season: Black politicians won their races largely because the racial electorate had largely abandoned them by the end of the campaign season.
It makes sense: It’s impossible, for one thing, to win a major party nomination for mayor without a strong, dedicated base. And a strong base is one that can turn out in large numbers; it’s why some Black candidates do so well in a run for national office.
It’s also why, in the wake of the election, people have begun to ask if Jim Greer will make it “real and true” when he’s elected mayor.
If things were going according to plan — if things had turned out as expected — then by now, Greer would be celebrating his election victory and planning his next act as mayor. The fact that Greer’s chances are so much better than his opponent, Jim Hightower, who came in well behind in the race for mayor, means the race is more than a little bit of a drag on the city’s first Black mayor.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is what the Black community decided, to see the Black community continue to elect their own officials who will make a big difference on us, and not just on us,” said Hightower, whose margin of victory over Greer was the second lowest for a non-incumbent in recent memory.
What most voters didn’t like about either candidate was the way they handled the race. In the end, they were both the same as usual: Run hard with no passion, make no mistakes, win or lose.
What’s interesting, though, is who is backing what candidates. Among the candidates who had the most enthusiastic backing at their primary nights were two candidates who would have struggled in a