10/10/07 — King, Stuart get nods from voters for mayoral contest

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King, Stuart get nods from voters for mayoral contest

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on October 10, 2007 1:46 PM

As Mayor Al King sat in the Corner Coffee Shop Tuesday night waiting for the results of that night's primary vote, he said he knew he was going to win the primary election.

What he wasn't sure of was who would join him on the November ballot.

D.A. Stuart will be that man.

Soon after the polls closed, the unofficial tallies trickled in.

About an hour later, the totals were in -- King had 902 votes, Stuart had 128 and G.L. Minchew had 49. King earned 84 percent of the votes cast in the race.

He said he was proud to have received the vote of confidence.

"(Voters) saw the difference (between candidates), and that's important to me," he said. "They know what their city needs. They understood what was at stake, and they responded overwhelmingly. They know where we are going, and they support it."

He promises, that as long as he is mayor, he will keep the city going in the direction it should go, he said.

"And we will be the best we can be," he said of the city and the City Council.

So, now, it is off to campaign -- making sure the primary vote will turn into re-election Nov. 6.

But King's family, although supportive, would also like him to consider other possibilities in the future.

King's son, an airline pilot, wants his dad to join him traveling and to "be done with that mayor stuff."

But the two-term mayor said he isn't ready, not yet.

"I'm telling you this -- I would not have run if not for the board and the city staff," he said. "I am proud of the councilmen. We bring something very special to the table -- expertise that you are not going to find anywhere else. We're all on the same wavelength."

The work is far from done, even with the campaign, he said.

"I had a lot of supporters that didn't know that today was the last day for primary. My supporters will all be primed for Nov. 6," he said.

From this point on, he said he will recharge his batteries, and be on the trail again.

And so, too, will his opponent -- D.A. Stuart.

"I need to work harder," he said. "I need to get my message out to people and tell them what I have to offer the city."

He had hoped to see he would do better Tuesday -- coming closer to King's vote totals -- or maybe even taking the No. 1 slot.

"It looked a little bit better in my imagination," he said.

Stuart said he wants to keep pushing for what he believes will benefit the city.

"They are making it look like they are going in the right direction," he said. "There are some good things that are happening; there are some bad things; and there are some in the middle."

He said the Paramount Theatre is one of those good projects, but others in the area, he said, he is not so sure about.

"We have nine multi-million dollar projects that we are doing, and we don't have money to do that," he said. "We are paying a little too much attention to the downtown -- although some attention is necessary -- but our leaders need to realize that residents in other areas in the city are important also. We need to get businesses downtown, but we can't just put everything downtown and forget about everything else. Everything needs to be equal."

Stuart will have some help with his campaign.

G.L. Minchew, who was not able to garner enough support to earn a spot on the ballot, has pledged his support to his fellow challenger.

"I give 100 percent to him," he said. "Whatever he wants to do or believes in, I will support him. When he is at a candidate forum, I will be there with him."