HomeNewsRay Condray announces bid for City of Jackson Mayor, met by protestors

Ray Condray announces bid for City of Jackson Mayor, met by protestors

Both supporters and protestors gathered at Jackson City Hall Saturday morning as Ray Condray made his announcement to run for Mayor of Jackson.

Condray, a manager in the retail automotive industry, says he is running to “steer Jackson in the right direction,” according to his speech and campaign website.

“I’ve stood on the sidelines too long,” Condray said in his speech, “I’ve watched and I’ve waited on a God-fearing champion to step up and step in.”

Although Condray has not turned in his petition to run as of Saturday, this campaign announcement was one of the few public events held so far in this Mayoral election cycle. An event by Jerry Woods was canceled due to poor weather, and incumbent Scott Conger held a campaign announcement in October of 2022.

“There might be some out there who are more qualified, or have more experience, or better connections, or maybe even better hair,” Condray paused as the statement was met by laughter (Scott Conger has been referred to as “The Mayor with the Good Hair” on social media in response to his live video broadcasts during the pandemic), “but I’ve come to this conclusion right here: If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

He also pointed towards his faith in making the decision to run. “I’ve tried to fight it. I’ve shed tears crying out to God, asking him to show me 100% if this is exactly what he has for me. I’ve even tried to talk myself out of it. But, there’s a passion inside of me. There’s a fire inside of me that just won’t rest. It just won’t leave me alone. Now is the time, and we are the people, and this is the charge. Together, let’s steer Jackson in the right direction,” Condray said.

Condray said, if elected, he will be fiscally responsible and address the problems Jackson has faced as it has grown: traffic, trash, homelessness and crime, among other issues. “Things that affect you on a daily basis in Jackson,” he said, “They need to be dealt with in a proactive manner, not in a reactive manner. That’s the exact reason I’m doing what I’m doing.”

As Condray gave his speech, a group of about a dozen protestors stood on the outskirts of the crowd. They held signs that read, “Protect Drag in TN,” “Drag has never been a problem,” “Democracy is not Theocracy,” and “Don’t Tread on My Rights,” among others. Condray repeatedly had to raise his voice over the protestors.

When Jackson Pride announced they were going to host a drag show at Conger Park in October of 2022, Condray vocalized his opposition on social media. He, along with other members of the organization We the People of West Tennessee, actively fought against the drag show until a compromise was agreed to hold it inside the Carl Perkins Civic Center for those 18 and older only.

“Let me just go on the record right here and say I don’t care whose grandfather one of our city parks is named after. A public city park is no place for a sexualized drag queen show,” Condray said as his supporters cheered.

After the speech, Condray spoke with the media. When asked if his bid for mayor was in direct response to the drag show, Condray said it was not. “I’m running because God has led me to run this way. I’m following his leading on that, and I feel like that’s my best advice, my best moral compass, and I’m going to follow that,” Condray said.

He was also asked if he has anything to say to the people protesting his campaign. “I totally 100% support their right to speak their voice, to protest, whatever they want to do. I 100% support that. We may not agree, but that’s OK. That’s what makes America great. We’re a diverse country. We have an incredible constitution that ensures those rights are protected, and I’m thankful for that.”

He was also asked about his qualifications for holding the mayoral office. “I guess the only qualification that I’ve got is the fact that I feel led, I feel called, I’ve had a lot of experience managing people and business. I feel like the combination of that unique experience, along with my own moral compass will help lead Jackson in the right direction,” Condray said. “I’ve had a lot of unique experience interacting with people. I’ve been under good management. I’ve been over others in management. I think those same principles apply to everything, just common sense.”

Condray is currently looking for volunteers for his campaign. His campaign website is raycondray.com, where you can find more information about his platform and volunteer opportunities. Campaign headquarters is located at 374-B N. Parkway in Jackson.

The City of Jackson Municipal Election is May 2, 2023. The last day to qualify as a candidate for Mayor or City Council is February 16, 2023. 

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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