Local News

Seven Candidates Will Run For Mayor of Fayetteville

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FAYETTEVILLE — For the first time in more than a decade, the battle to be Fayetteville's next mayor is wide open. With the death of former Mayor J.L. Dawkins, several candidates want the job.

Dawkins was so popular in Fayetteville a plaza was named after him, even before he died. His seat will be tough to fill. The deadline to file for the mayors race was noon Friday, and seven people have thrown their hats into the ring, including his son, Johnny.

"There's no way I can fill his shoes; I can follow in his footsteps; I can try," said the younger Dawkins.

The city council appointed Milo McBryde to finish Dawkins' term. He now hopes to be elected to the job once held by Dawkins, who was a close friend. He believes the mayor of the future may be different from the legendary mayor of the past.

"Being mayor may not mean being the most popular person in town, but doing what needs to be done for the city," said McBride.

Mayor Pro Tem Marshall Pitts feels the same way. Because of the Dawkins legacy, he thinks the next mayor will look to his example, but take a different approach.

"You do want to be a person who is a man of the people, but you also want to be a mayor who's going to be ready for policies and procedures to make this a better place to live," said Pitts.

Also running for mayor are plumber Ronnie Peele, postal worker Edna Pickett, professional boxer Shawn Townsend, and Nuclear Security Officer Leonard Hicks.