Tony Yarber

Last updated
Tony Yarber
Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi
In office
April 24, 2014 July 3, 2017
Preceded by Chokwe Lumumba
Succeeded by Chokwe Antar Lumumba
Personal details
Born (1978-03-17) March 17, 1978 (age 42)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Southern Mississippi
Jackson State University
Elementary school principal

Tony Tarzell Yarber (born April 16, 1978) is an American pastor, educator and politician in Jackson, Mississippi. He was elected as Mayor of Jackson in April 2014 from special election following the death in office of Chokwe Lumumba. [1] A native of Jackson and experienced city councilor, Yarber is noted for his passion for youth causes, and has been described as "a consensus builder". [2] He was succeeded as Mayor of Jackson by his predecessor's son Chokwe Antar Lumumba on July 3, 2017. [3]


Career and personal life

Yarber was born in Jackson, Mississippi to George and Deloris Yarber in 1978, and grew up in the city's Westside Community. [2] [4] He attended Forest Hill High School in Jackson. [5]

Yarber received a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and an M.S. in Education Administration and Supervision from Jackson State University. [4] He has taught school and served as an elementary school principal. Yarber served as a committee member for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. [4]

He is also Pastor and Founder of the non-denominational Relevant Empowerment Church, started in 2008. [2] He has served on the Board of Directors for Relevant Ministries. [4]

Yarber has a black belt in ninjutsu. [2] He is married and has three children. [4]

In August 2016, a lawsuit was filed by Yarber's former executive assistant Kimberly Bracey, who accused Yarber of firing her when she turned down his sexual advances. Yarber denied the allegations. [6]

Civic achievements

Yarber is a founding member of Alignment Jackson, a non-profit organization for improving student achievement. [7]

He was the second Vice-President of the Mississippi Black Caucus of Locally Elected Officials. [7]

Elected office

City Councillor

In 2009, Yarber entered city politics, running for the Jackson City Council from Ward 6. He became City Council Vice President in 2011, and President in 2012. In 2013, Yarber served as Chair of the Budget Committee and the Education/Youth Ad Hoc Committee. [7]


Yarber was elected Mayor of Jackson on April 22, 2014, in a runoff election against Chokwe Antar Lumumba, son of deceased former mayor Chokwe Lumumba. [1]

Yarber stated that his goals as mayor would be to improve customer service for residents and to attract new business. Yarber also discussed Jackson's potential for growth as an entertainment hub, and as a "medical corridor." [2] [8]

On May 2, 2017, Yarber was soundly defeated by Chokwe Antar Lumumba in the nine-candidate primary for the Democratic nominee for mayor of Jackson, receiving 5% to Lumumba's 55%. [9]

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  1. 1 2 Barnes, Dustin (April 22, 2014). "Yarber New Jackson Mayor". Clarion-Ledger.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Lucas, Sherry (April 20, 2014). "Mayoral Race: Personal Profile of Tony Yarber". Clarion-Ledger.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Tony Yarber". City of Jackson, Mississippi. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  5. Ferretti, Haley; Nave, R.L. (April 23, 2014). "A Hands-On Tony Yarber Administration?". Jackson Free Press.
  6. Kenney, David (August 26, 2016). "Mayor Yarber Responds to Sex Allegations". Msnewsnow.
  7. 1 2 3 "About the Mayor". City of Jackson. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  8. Barnes, Dustin (April 24, 2014). "Mayor Tony Yarber Preaches Plans for Jackson". Clarion-Ledger.
  9. "Some Mayors Defeated in Mississippi Municipal Primaries". US News and World Report. 2017-05-03. Retrieved 2017-05-04.