ELDON — In a town of a thousand people, four have decided to run for the job "Mayor of Eldon." Residents head to their polling places today. Candidates included the incumbent, Shirley Stacey, as well as challengers Sean Coulter, David Bowen and Tommy Reaves. Each of them answered two questions for Courier readers: What will be your priorities as mayor, and why are you running?
"Someone needs to save our town," said Reaves. "I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing this for the children of Eldon. Because if this town dies, they won’t have a town to call their own."
Reaves said there are ways to succeed, especially for Eldon.
"We have far [more] assets than just the Gothic House," he said, listing the Opera House and the half-mile dirt race track, as examples. "We need to bring in businesses."
"I haven’t seen any mayor try to bring in small business. Maybe we need to try something new. I’ve lived here for 12 years, and as a parent and foster parent, raised nine children."
In a way, those children are part of the reason he wants more jobs in the town: Without young people, he said, the town can't go on.
"All the kids but the two at home have left, because there are no jobs for them here. I don’t want to see this town die."
Another priority, he said, is, "Probably to get city officials and the fairground board to work together."
"I don’t try to dazzle people with big words, [but] every goal I’ve set in front of me, I’ve accomplished."
Bowen said he has experience: He's a former mayor of Eldon.
"I enjoy working with people," he said. "I had three or four terms as mayor, and the people know I work hard for everyone, rich or poor. I enjoy the people in this town, and I know a lot of people in this town."