By N. Horton
The current political forecast for the establishment in Searcy: ‘cloudy with a strong chance of severe thunderstorms.’ The imposition of the new A&P Tax during what has been called “the worst economic recession since the Great Depression,” plus the new yard sale regulations proposed by Mayor LaForce and passed by the City Council, seem to send a loud and clear message to the citizens of Searcy–this mayor is done. She has no intentions of running for re-election as clearly evidenced by her overreaching, overbearing actions. Her continual thwarting of the people’s will rings true to that tone.
So who will be the next mayor of Searcy?
Many around the city speculate that current Republican alderman Steve Sterling will throw his name in the hat, but no one quite knows which party’s nomination he will seek. Sterling, a one-term alderman from Ward 2, has voted 100% with the Democratic Mayor LaForce. He was also the main spokesman for the A&P Tax and supported the yard sale ordinance. These 2 votes will cripple him in any Republican primary, so it seems that his only hope of receiving the nomination would be on the Democrat ticket. Sterling’s inability to control his emotions at Republican meetings and his public disdain for anyone who disagrees with him will not help his chances. If he switches parties, he could cause trouble for the GOP, but he will have a hard time reconciling with local Democrats.
*After the last council meeting, Sterling reportedly told Kyle Reeves (below), “I won’t run [for Mayor] unless you do.”
On the Republican side (or should I say, the conservative side), Kyle Reeves has been identified as a “potential candidate.” Reeves is a former alderman from Ward 2 and left that seat to seek the office of State Representative for District 50, but was narrowly defeated by current Rep. Monty Betts (D-50). Despite what The Daily Citizen chooses to report, Reeves has a large base of support in Searcy, falling to the vastly known and popular Betts by only a few hundred votes.
Reeves is a serious contender.
Also rumored to be considering a run at city hall is Dan Hodges, former alderman for Ward 2 and current owner/operator of Vue, Inc. Hodges served on the council until being unseated by Reeves. When Reeves decided to pursue District 50, Hodges ran for the open seat again, but lost in a close election to the previously mentioned Steve Sterling–a great political irony. Hodges has told The Patriot in the past that he has serious intentions to run. He could be a very strong candidate.
Dale Brewer, who is a 2-time Mayoral candidate, has also been rumored to be considering another run at the office, but this is mere speculation–Brewer has made no public comments on the matter. In 2006, Brewer lost to the current Mayor by 17 votes in a run-off election.
Mr. Brewer seems eager to serve the people of Searcy. Keep an eye on this veteran. He has a significant amount of name recognition and support. He is a sitting alderman in Searcy and was in favor of letting the Searcy voters cast their ballots on the A&P Tax. Brewer is a big player in this race.
At this time, The Patriot makes no endorsement of any one of these candidates–The Patriot would support Reeves, Hodges, or Brewer if pitted against the current Mayor and her agenda of increased taxation and regulation. Each of these men would bring abundant experience and conservatism to city hall. For that, we applaud them and wish them the best.