Todd Jordan, Jason Shelton spar on Facebook over tornado response

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Taylor Vance, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo
·2 min read
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May 4—TUPELO — Todd Jordan and Jason Shelton once again traded personal barbs at one another on social media — this time over each other's responses to Sunday's tornadic storm, which damaged around 90 properties in Tupelo.

Shelton, the city's outgoing mayor, and Todd Jordan, the Republican nominee vying to replace him, have previously criticized each other. But the sharp rhetoric has grown particularly acute since Jordan won the Republican nomination.

At around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, the two-term Democratic mayor wrote on his personal Facebook account that as the city is experiencing another natural disaster, he's certain that the next mayor should be someone who is "competent, capable, and qualified."

"Your next mayor will make the decisions at this moment of how the city responds," Shelton said in the post. "This is a serious job and we need a serious person to be mayor. The mayor of Tupelo has to have basic competency."

Although the mayoral candidate's name is not mentioned in the post, Shelton has previously posted on social media that he believes Jordan isn't competent enough to be the city's next mayor and that he supports Jordan's opponent, Democrat Victor Fleitas, as his successor.

Around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Shelton also said that he does not believe being mayor is a "hands off job," which is a more obvious dig at Jordan.

In a previous interview with the Daily Journal, Jordan said he would give more autonomy to leaders of city departments, but he was not extending that to his entire approach to being mayor.

"It is imperative that we have someone who is qualified, capable, and competent to serve, which is why I support Victor Fleitas to serve as our next mayor," Shelton said. "I hope that you will join me in making sure Tupelo continues on the right track."

Around 2 p.m. on Monday, Jordan, currently a Lee County supervisor, shot back at Shelton via his campaign's Facebook page, saying that while the city's emergency responders were tending to the storm damage, Shelton was "promoting his candidate to replace him" before the damage to the storm was fully known.

"I want you to know that I am a uniter, not a divider," Jordan wrote in his post. "We've had enough of dividing over the last eighteen months. As your next mayor, I want to bring us back to being together for Tupelo. As mayor I want to represent everyone. And I promise you, I will not divide us."

Jordan has told the Daily Journal in previous interviews that while Shelton has continued to criticize him on social media, the outgoing mayor has been courteous to him over the phone and in one-on-one interactions.

Voters on June 8 will decide which candidate should replace Shelton — Fleitas, the Democratic nominee or Jordan, the Republican nominee.

taylor.vance@djournal.com