<<< SEE LIVE POLL NUMBERS!
I had a reader point me to a fluff piece that was discussing the race for the Mayor of Mooresville.
This race gets our attention because of the way the office opened up, in the wake of yet another scandal. This sort of vacant seat tends to make the platform of changing the way the office operates come forward.
Voters in these cases don’t wish to make the same mistake from the same pool of familiar faces.
When the office was misused, voters often want the replacement to be of exceptional character, which they may get their wish, with one of two candidates with very different backgrounds and educational paths.
A month ago, there was to be no race for the seat of the Mayor of Mooresville, the seat appeared ready to be handed over to Miles Atkins by default. Mr. Atkins appeared to be the next in line of politicians locally waiting his turn to be promoted.
But now we can call this a race with the announcement of the second candidate Jared Esselman came this past week.
So now that we have a race, are the voters prepared to vote for what they expected?
Will they look beyond the established political ladder and decide based on experience and views of the candidates.
Mr. Atkins currently is a member of the political machine in place in Mooresville, having spent the past 4 years sitting as the Commissioner At-Large.
This is pretty much what had opened up the thinking that the Mayor’s job was to be handed to him.
Miles has performed this role of commissioner while also working for a health care company as a corporate manager the past 4 years.
His prior experience dates back to 2002 and shows about 6 different job titles during that time.
Mr. Atkins moved from company to company in various management roles for a parking company, a NASCAR collectibles sales manager and working for RC2 which makes toys. Actually it appears he spent most of the past decade working at making and selling toys. Sales and manager experience to be sure, which may be very valuable in office and budget decision. Will voters think so is going to be something we will have to see.
Mr. Esselman appears to have taken a very different path to acquiring leadership skills.
His choice of an education came with 8 years of military service during a time of war, time spent as an intern in Washington DC learning to legislate, and time spent studying at Harvard University and completing his Masters degree while coming from a middle class family.
Kinda feels a bit storybook, that a hometown kid who played high school football for coach Carter in what is now Joe Popp Stadium. Many reading this may have been at the local football games watching Mr. Esselman play linebacker, as he set the record for most sacks in a season for Mooresville.
This is the kind of candidate that many homegrown politicians dread the most, the hard to touch local story.
And while some may question the newcomers age, what he’s done with his 31 years is sure to overshadow this for many voters.
You can read an article regarding Mayoral candidate Jared Esselman here featured in the Harvard Gazette, highlighting the experiences of Harvard students serving in battle.
Mr. Esselman went on to fly nearly 300 combat sorties in Iraq during battle, before returning to Mooresville and then moving on to finish his masters degree from Harvard University.
“One feature of combat is that those who survive “bring a sense of caring about other people,” said Esselman”
While some people may choose to vote for the “next guy in line” in politics, and some may prefer sales jobs and experience working at a health care company, it is clear that the competition for Miles Atkins will appeal to many voters.
Mooresville has a strong presence of military personel who sympathize with return soldiers.
Those of military families will surely appreciate one of their own surviving years of war and landing on their feet to accomplish the highest of educational goals.
Mooresville voters may also be swayed by the candidate that grew up in the local schools, play sports with local voters and returned home after a lifetime of experiences from Iraq to Boston. Mr. Atkins Attended school in Tampa Florida, moving to Mooresville for a job in 1997.
With 8 years of service to our nation at the highest level, and 6 years of dedicated study in the worlds finest school for political science one has to wonder if the resumes may make this a one sided race.
Politicians in today’s environment face voters searching for the exception to the “same old faces”.
Mr Esselman has given Mooresville an exceptional home grown story of success to perhaps get behind.
Choosing A Mooresville Mayor
Comment and please share to your wall!
Tags:candidate jared esselman, choosing a mooresville mayor, esselman for mayor, jared esselman, mayor of mooresville, miles atkins, Miles Atkins Mayor, Mooresville election, Mooresville mayor, mooresville mayoral race