Says he will 'campaign tirelessly;' unchallenged to date
Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty announced his bid for a second term as leader of Mt. Juliet.
He said his campaign war chest is full, and he's got a team in place to push his campaign for a November win and another four years because "my work here is not finished."
"So, I am announcing my candidacy for the office of mayor," Hagerty said. "The campaign funds are already raised, the campaign team is already in place and working, many of the mailers are designed and I will campaign tirelessly."
Hagerty's four-year term ends in November, however, he was mayor one-and-a-half years before that when he as vice mayor took over Linda Elam's term when she resigned.
Hagerty told The Wilson Post he was encouraged to run a second term.
"People think I did a good job and are happy with the city," he said. "I'm happy to continue the job."
He said if elected he will "give it my all for four more years to make Mt. Juliet a true edge city where you can live, work, shop, play and worship right here while enjoying the benefits of living near a major metropolitan area."
Possible challengers still deciding
Four years ago Hagerty was challenged by Jamie Luffman (current Fire Department of Mt. Juliet chief) and former city commissioner Jim Bradshaw. To date, no one else has thrown their hat in for the seat.
Luffman said he's 100 percent in his job as fire chief and has no plans to re-up another bid for mayor.
"No, I am concentrating on my job as fire chief," he said. "I ran back then to be part of the fire issue, and my prayers were answered. I consider Ed a good friend and he's in the right place now, and so am I."
When contacted Monday, Bradshaw said he's considering a possible bid in November for the mayoral seat. Four years ago he ran against Hagerty and lost. However, he was in Mt. Juliet politics for 16-plus years and misses it, he said.
"I'm more in at this time than out," he said Monday. "I have not ruled it out. I'll be deciding soon."
Some wondered if District 1 City Commissioner Ray Justice might up for a mayoral bid. He said no Monday.
"I'm not planning to run. I think Ed has served this city with distinction," he said. "He's a good, honorable man, and no, I've not always agreed. But he has his heart in this city. I still have a lot to do in my district and I have a lot further to go."
Hagerty reflects on work done
On Monday, Hagerty said he felt one of the greatest accomplishments of his tenure as mayor was, "the city is operating properly and ethically."
"I've had a lot of great feedback," he said. "There seems to be a high degree of confidence and happiness with leadership."
He noted the city has "high ratings in so many areas. We've been the 4th safest city in the state," he said.
The city is also ranked No. 3 most family-friendly city in the state and six years in a row labeled a playful city.
"Our goal is to be No. 1 in every category," Hagerty said.
Traffic is still the biggest concern
The biggest challenge, said Hagerty, is traffic.
"We have plans in place to widen the I-40 bridge, the Eastern Connector is in place in one-and-a-half years and a lot of short term fixes are in place," he said.
There are also plans for a Central Pike interchange down the road, Hagerty noted.
As far as "smart planning" which is on his stump as well, Hagerty said "there is a high level of confidence for careful development and quantity and standards."
"We also plan to strengthen our police and fire and add a third fire station in North Mt. Juliet," he said.
Hagerty said he plans to "keep doing the next four years like we've done so far."
Hagerty will give the State of the City address Feb. 17 and fully detail the past year's progress and talk further about his bid for a second term.
Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.