Vote 2004: A Look at the Jonesboro Mayoral Race

August 10, 2004 -- Posted 4:45 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- There are 7 candidates who each hope their next job title will be Mayor of the City of Jonesboro.

55 year old Dan Pierce has served on many community boards, and is the Chairman of Actions Graphix. With an already equipped campaign office, Pierce says if elected he vows to make city information available to the public, among other goals.

"I would like to see our home progress to the point where more of our children after they are educated here can finds jobs here, raise their families here, and live here in Jonesboro," said Pierce.

52 year old Paul Bednar runs his own construction company in Jonesboro. If you take a closer look in his office, you'll see he has certifications with the Environmental Protection Agency, OSHA, and has taught safety courses at Arkansas Northeastern College.

Bednar is challenging the residents of Jonesboro in this election to think outside the box, and vote for a candidate whose vision is regional.

"We've got to bring our banking, our colleges, small towns together, our little governments and we've got to start looking regional," said Bednar. "If we have a regional market set up here, a regional community and business, we're going to do well."

The youngest candidate, 28 year old Gregory Cowles, is a partner in a family run real estate management company. Unhappy with the other choices in this race, he filed his candidacy a day before the deadline. Cowles wants to focus on a Jonesboro of the future, not the past.

"I want to look at alternative sources of revenue such as bonds, things like that," said Cowles. "We need to push city transportation as hard as we can, and infrastructure to support that."

33 year old Travis Moore is the owner of a local computer hardware store. He was one of the first people to announce their candidacy for this office. He wants to see Jonesboro recognized as the number one city in the state.

"That does a lot for industrial recruitment, it also does a lot for quality of lifestyle, and it compounds a lot of issues that fall underneath that," said Moore.

34 year old Kevin Rhodes joined the Marine Corps when he was just 18 years old. He later worked for the Weiner and Jonesboro Police Departments, and is currently a registered nurse at St. Bernards. Rhodes says the culmination of those 3 professions will help him bring accountability, integrity, and compassion to the mayor's office.

"It's ones ability to take in each part of that picture, and bring it together as a whole and have an unbiased opinion about what actions to take," said Rhodes.

At age 43, Butch Herring has been serving the people of Jonesboro as a firefighter since 1981. Back in March he was promoted to Fire Chief; an appointment made by Mayor Hubert Brodell. In addition, Herring is certified to teach social studies and is currently pursuing a master's degree in public administration.

While there is no incumbent in this race, Herring considers himself an incumbent of city government because of his service as a department manager.

"I've been a department head manager for 3 years, and I'm very well accustomed to what's going on at the city administration level," said Herring.

Just shy of his 40th birthday, Doug Formon has been eyeing this race for quite sometime. Sargeant Formon has been with the Jonesboro Police Department for 16 years, working as a D.A.R.E, school resource, and public information officer. He also owned a few businesses in town.

If elected, Formon wants to bring a new day to city hall.

"I want the average, the regular person here in Jonesboro Arkansas that's a hard worker that may work at a doctor's office or factory worker, I want them to feel free to come to city hall to talk to the mayor," said Formon.

The current Mayor of Jonesboro, Hubert Brodell, has not openly endorsed any of the candidates.