Grayson formally announces mayoral bid

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 13, 2003

Election calendars are fairly strict &045;&045; in municipalities, they happen every four years. Political season calendars are quite different, and Mike Grayson has proved that.

Veteran Demopolis Mayor Austin Caldwell has announced he will not seek re-election next year and Grayson &045;&045; a year from municipal elections &045;&045; is the first to formally announce his candidacy.

Grayson’s decision is no surprise to anyone. In fact, he actually confirmed in January that he intended to run for the city’s highest office. Now, just a year away from election qualifying, the insurance salesman and restaurant owner believes it’s time to begin an active campaign toward city hall.

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And it’s worth noting that Grayson wants to begin his campaign early because he doesn’t have intentions of failing.

That sports-filled analogy explains why Grayson has most of his political ideas in order. Take, for instance, economic development. More than once, he has spoken of selective recruitment of industries into Demopolis.

Basically, Grayson believes city leaders should pursue industries where "we have an even or better-than-even chance."

Grayson has specific views about industry and education and every other political platform that might be raised, but most importantly, his focus &045;&045; if elected &045;&045; would center on the people who live and work in Demopolis. For that matter, in every platform Grayson discusses, he always reverts back to the people.

Among the ways to do that, Grayson said, is taking care of the small items.

Unlike other mayoral elections, any candidate &045;&045; including Grayson &045;&045; would have the opportunity to take over a city that is in excellent shape, both in terms of infrastructure and economics. Grayson knows that and he’s adamant that any new mayor should "build on what we’ve got."

Through all the political speak and duties of a mayor, Grayson has a simple philosophy about himself and the mayor’s job.

One way Grayson said he would implement leadership is to have either monthly or twice-a-month meetings with department heads in the city.

Like any candidate, Grayson seems to know that he’ll face scrutiny in this process. One of the questions he will face is whether or not he has time to serve as mayor along with his other duties of running a restaurant and an insurance business &045;&045; not to mention his band, "Azzif."

As for his insurance business, Grayson said his hours would be flexible and his restaurant &045;&045; the Foscue House &045;&045; is beginning to take shape so that he doesn’t have to spend as much time there.

No other person has announced that he or she will seek the mayor’s position. One name that has circulated is Jay Shows.

Shows said he couldn’t say whether or not he would seek the mayor’s position, but did indicate that he would make a decision soon.