Mayoral candidates make final pitch for voter support

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No divisive issues have reared their heads in this year’s race for Kilgore mayor – as in 2019, incumbent Ronnie Spradlin and challenger Victor Boyd haven’t drawn any battles.

Rather, each man feels he’s the ideal choice to lead the city in the coming two years.

Spradlin’s been in the mayor’s seat the past nine years. Boyd’s been on the Kilgore City Council for three.

The two men agree the city’s aging infrastructure – and the funding necessary to fix it – remains the key challenge for the community. Both stand by the current financial plan they’ve had a hand in during their respective tenures on the dais at City Hall.

For Spradlin, owner of East Texas Lumber, his overall goal remains the same – to follow through on work he’s helped steer during prior years on the council

“The reason I’m running again is we have a great city council that works with each other,” he said, “we have a good city manager and departments, and we have an incredible number of projects that I would like to see more completed before I leave office.

“I think I’ve been able to set the tone for a council that works together, has mutual respect and functions as a team – that actually sets the tone for the entire way the city functions as a whole.”

During Sunday’s 2019 Kilgore Candidates Forum, Boyd emphasized his desire to take the reins on the council, continuing work that’s been started and applying his personal focus on ‘unity’ along the way.

“We’ve built a great foundation here in Kilgore and we continue to build that foundation. Now it’s time to build upon it,” he said April 14. “If you have a problem then it’s my job to try to assist you, bring it back to council so we can take care of the needs of you. We’re only as strong as our city is, and so we’re here fighting for you to do what we need to make Kilgore a better Kilgore and you the best citizens that you can be for Kilgore.”

Early voting begins Monday and continues through Friday with two additional days April 29-30. Election Day polling runs 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at Kilgore City Hall.

The last time they faced each other on the ballot, in 2017, Spradlin netted just shy of 68 percent of more than 600 votes. Early voting saw 106 residents weigh in for Boyd in addition to 88 on Election Day.

If returned for another term, Spradlin says the progress he’s most hoping for will be subtle but effective.

At the end of the next two years, “There will be very little visible difference, but you will have a much more dependable water source and an updated sewage treatment facility,” he said. “I just think I have a proven history of leading this city effectively and in a fiscally responsible manner.”

For his part, Boyd says as mayor he’ll continue to be accessible to constituents – any day, any hour – while putting his stamp on Kilgore’s history.

“I have to be the best mayor I can be.”

For more information about polling at Kilgore City Hall, call City Clerk Rachel Rowe at 903-984-5081.

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