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Mayor Gist reacts to Senator Finney's bid for Jackson mayor

By Erica Williams
By ewilliams@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. -- Jackson city Mayor Jerry Gist spoke for the first time about his new challenger, outgoing state Senator Lowe Finney.

Finney announced his candidacy on Wednesday, a day before August election. Mayor Gist said it was poor timing.

"It was not statesman," Mayor Gist said. "It was selfish and rude."

That's why Mayor Gist said he chose to wait until after the election to speak about Senator Finney's decision.

"There are certain things about the mayor's office that you can't learn in Nashville," he said, referring to Senator Finney's position as State Senator for more than eight years.

Senator Finney, who is currently a Jackson resident, said he's heard from residents there is a need for change.

"You can argue about policy and experience, but at the end of the day people want to see results," he said, highlighting the need to combat crime and increase public safety.

"Public safety affects everything," Senator Finney said. "That's why you hear everyone in every corner of the community talking about it."

Mayor Gist agrees there is a problem with crime in Jackson.

"We are at a war with crime but we are going to win it," he said.

Senator Finney said he hopes to get the opportunity to directly serve the community where he lives. Mayor Gist said he wants one more term to finish what he started.

Finney's term as Senator ends in Nov. 2014.

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