Ford and Haygood face off in Tuskegee mayoral race
TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - On Tuesday, Aug. 23 people will head to the polls to vote on various municipal elections across the state.
In Tuskegee, the biggest race on the ballot will be for mayor. Two men, Johnny Ford and Lawrence "Tony" Haygood, are vying for that position.
Ford has run Tuskegee for 32 of the past 44 years and is looking to add four more to that.
"I know I am totally committed to this city. I would give my life for this city and the people of this city. I've demonstrated that. I'm not going to give up on this city," Ford said.
Haygood, the current Tuskegee City Councilman-At-Large and Mayor Pro tem, is hoping to lead the city in a new direction.
"I understand economics and business and what it takes to bring business people in to a community. You can make a lot of announcements around election season, but the key is can we bring it in," Haygood said.
Ford says if he is re-elected as mayor he wants to get 24-hour urgent care services in the city, work towards restoring Victoryland and continue focusing on economic development.
"I see an American Deli getting ready and I see another Family Dollar under construction. Out at Exit 38 - construction coming soon. We also just completed a $3 million nursing home expansion and another is on the drawing board," Ford said.
While bringing new jobs and industry is also top of mind for Haygood, it's not his only concern. Among his goals if elected is to remove abandoned and blighted housing, strengthen relationships between the community and law enforcement, and stabilize financial growth to lower taxes and utilities.
"When we are in a stable financial condition are able to address some of the concerns of the citizens. Right now we are financially challenged as a city we have to tighten up on our budget just to get through. So we can't address some of the needs of the community and the citizens that had been requested. So if we can first become financially stable then we can start to grow," Haygood said.
Both men already have a plan of action to get the job done if elected, although their approach is different.
"We have opportunity to move Tuskegee into the future. Not only do I have the ability to do something at the local level, but I have the connections in Washington," Ford said.
"The key thing to do is to pull the people together in a sense of unity on an agreed upon plan that is reasonable and realistic so we can look step by step on how to rebuild our community," Haygood said.
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