My 2nd Response

Just a week ago, I found myself needing to respond to the sudden and unexpected decision by Doyle Arp not to seek reelection. Now I feel it is necessary to make a second response to address some outlandish rumors that seem to be making the circles.

Typically, when an incumbent doesn't run for reelection that can set the stage for a lot of folks to jump into the race. This seems to be the case with the county mayor's race since Arp's announcement.  In the last week no less than three new candidates have picked up and/or filed qualifying petitions to seek the office of county mayor. Even Matt Brookshire filed his petition now. The three other candidates thus far are Gregory Hackney, Estelle Herron and Jimmy Parks. I don't know Mr. Hackney or Mr. Parks but I do know Ms. Herron.

Some months ago, when considering whether or not to get into the mayor's race I went to several individuals to discuss my intentions to run. One of those persons was Estelle. I even asked her if she would have any interest in running for mayor. At that time she certainly convinced me that she had no interest in running. In fact until Arp's announcement, Estelle had been one of my strongest supporters even being the first to make a contribution to my campaign.

The day after Arp's announcement, Estelle called me to tell me that she had decided to run for mayor. She told me that she had tried to get "them" to support me and "they" just weren't going to do it. She said that "they" were beating the bushes trying to find someone to run against me in the primary now that Arp was out and she had had several calls herself asking her to run and if "they" were going to get somebody anyway she felt she might as well run. Was I surprised that "they" were trying to find someone to run against me? Absolutely not. Was I surprised that Estelle decided to run? Very much so. But that's the great thing about the American election system. Almost anybody has the right to run for public office. I have know Estelle for many years and consider her a friend and it is my hope that regardless of politics or elections that wont change.

Contrary to any rumors that are making the rounds, I have cut no deals to step out of the race. I have been offered no county jobs to get out. I don't operate that way.

In August, long before Arp got out of the race, I announced that I would be running for County Mayor. In November I filed my qualifying petition to run for County Mayor. Nothing has changed. I am still running for County Mayor.