IN Focus: Kokomo voters to elect new mayor next month

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KOKOMO, Ind. – The residents of Kokomo are electing a new mayor for the first time in 12 years. Democrat Greg Goodnight is stepping down after three terms.

Republican Tyler Moore and Democrat Abbie Smith are running for the position.

Moore has been a Howard County Commissioner for ten years. He also owns a title company in Kokomo. Moore said he can give a voice to small businesses and help bring diverse development to the city.

“As we all know relying on one industry can make things a little concerning at times,” said Moore.

Democrat Abbie Smith said Kokomo needs a new way of doing things.

“I have a collaborative leadership style, so, I do believe that the answers to problems lie within a community of people wherever that is so if you can ask the right questions and listen,” said Smith.

These candidates have different ideas when it comes to development location.

“With the potential of the 31 bypass around Kokomo, I think we should be making a lot of those areas shovel ready or site ready for investors,” said Moore.

Smith said she wants to avoid developing that area.

“Because we have held off development around that bypass we’ve protected the businesses in our city’s core,” said Smith.

The Democrat said she’s passionate about bringing more adults into the workforce.

“You can’t talk about skilling up adults if you don’t talk about access to affordable childcare, it’s a huge barrier for families,” said Smith.

She believes her experience as a United Way executive would help as mayor.

“My niche would be the ability and the track record of bringing multiple people together listening to their concerns and their aspirations and aligning those to forward progress,” said Smith.

Moore feels his decade in county government would inspire city-county partnerships that could lead to a safer Kokomo.

“There was a joint drug task force, I’d like to see that resurrected, I think that could bode well and send a message to the crime community that we mean business,” said Moore.

Both candidates would like to add more police officers and would like to concentrate on maintaining Kokomo's roads.

You can also view a debate between the candidates by clicking this link. 

Election Day is November 5.

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