JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The House District 72 Democratic primary is a crowded race this year with four candidates running for the vacant seat.

Between the three candidates WJTV 12 News spoke to, all of them are planning on being community-oriented. Each have distinct plans to keep North Jackson and Ridgeland economically attractive.

Justis Gibbs, the 27-year-old attorney whose mother once held the seat, is set on leveraging his relationships to bring more economic success to District 72.

“I will have a close connection with the Hinds County Development Authority. I’m already familiar and have relationships with those board members, because I think it’s really important that a legislator works with those who create the projects, the economic projects. District 72 is a commercial oriented district. We go down County Line, we’re right next to Northpark Mall, and there are a multitude of businesses in North Jackson. So, it’s very important for the legislator themselves to have a close relationship with the development authority,” Gibbs stated.

Synarus Green has worked in local, county, state and federal levels of government developing policy for nearly 30 years. Green believes in preparing the workforce for an eventual influx of jobs.

“I think that we’re facing a big surge in job opportunities in the future. Well funding our schools, our community colleges and universities and certification programs, so that we’re building a strong workforce that’s ready to take on those jobs, gain those great employment financial benefits, and then start building their families and buying homes is our greatest economic opportunity that we can do for the state of Mississippi,” said Green.

Longtime Jackson-based activist Rukia Lumumba, the sister of Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, plans on bringing the entire district into the conversation.

“We need to be able to engage community members, residents in the process of determining what that economic development looks like. You know, how a city has a plan where the city will have a plan for 20 years. What does it look like for economic development? Well, we need a district plan. We also need to really ensure that our economic development is really reaching all parts of our populations. People who are living with disabilities for people who are are struggling to make ends meet and for people who want to be entrepreneurs and or are entrepreneurs,” said Lumumba.

Due to scheduling conflicts, WJTV 12 News was not able to interview Dr. Ailean Stingley, who is the fourth candidate running in the District 72 Democratic primary.

The 2023 Primary Election will be on August 8, 2023. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.