BLACKFOOT, Idaho - Election day is less than two weeks away for most of Eastern Idaho. The mayoral race is what most people are taking about in Blackfoot. Candidates filled Bingham County Senior Center to explain why they were the man for the job.
Dan Cravens was the first to throw his hat into the mayoral race. He said he's the only economists running, which is experience that can bring higher paying jobs back to Blackfoot. He said he's just the man to manage the town's workforce.
"I worked in a leadership of a high-tech company, so I also understand budgets and fiscal responsibility. I know how to work well and manage folks," he said.
Although the economy is always on the top of political lists, Carlos Martinez said people aren't going to visit, let alone work, in a town that isn't easy on the eyes.
"Our community is beautiful and I would like to maybe make it a bit more beautiful," said Martinez.
People like John Hoobler want to know how beautiful a city can be if people have to leave to fill their commercial needs. He said they should be able to at least see a movie without the hassle of driving for half an hour.
"Blackfoot has more to offer to its community rather than having to travel outside our community to get even just the basics. We can actually stay here," he said.
Candidate Rick Bigler said other candidates aren't putting enough emphasis on what really matters, which is the opportunity to get a good education.
'If students' parents haven't gone on to college, a lot of times they won't find that as a priority. I'd like to start a mayoral scholarship that would be privately funded," said Bigler.
Paul Loomis said he loves Blackfoot and is willing to work with the community to make it a better place.
"I don't have a hidden agenda or something that I'm angry about. I just want it (Blackfoot) to progress and lead it into the future," said Loomis.
Much like Loomis, Carlos Mercado believes in the Blackfoot community. He said his experience as a firefighter and working with the Sheriffs Office puts him ahead of the game.
"That gives me a little more of an understanding of what the city needs. I understand the complexity of what the city is all about," he said.
Each candidate also added that the previous mayor did a great job. They said they want to enhance Mayor Mike Virtue's good work if they are elected on Nov. 5.