Two candidates vie for Valdosta mayor's seat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Two candidates vie for Valdosta mayor's seat

John Fretti John Fretti
Benny Mitcham Benny Mitcham

October 31, 2003

Valdosta - Who will be our next mayor? According to Superior Court Judge Joe Bishop, John Fretti and Benny Mitcham are the only qualified candidates. "I'm glad this is finally out of the courts opinion now and into the voters hands," said Fretti.

With four days left until the election, the candidates are campaigning stronger than ever. For John Fretti, that means planning an economic boom in the city. "We need to grow as a city, but also help the communities in our MSA area grow" said Fretti. "They may have things to offer industries that we don't, but if they succeed, we succeed."

His opponent, Benny Mitcham says his major concerns are beautifying the city and improving education.

"I was amazed to learn how many people in this region don't have a high school education," said Mitcham. "We need to provide a more educated workforce for industries coming in."

An important issue for both candidates is traffic management. As the city grows, they want to ensure traveling is safe and convenient for motorists.

"Especially around Ashley and Patterson streets, that is a heavily traveled area, and we need to look at what we can do to detour some of that traffic as more people move to this area," said Mitcham.

Whoever wins the election will have big shoes to fill. The late Mayor James Rainwater served the city as mayor for 16 years.

"I think that if I'm allowed to serve as mayor, it would be an honor to follow Jimmy. I don't want to take away from what he did for the city, I only want to add to his legacy."

Both candidates have big plans for the city, but who gets to put them into action will be decided by the voters on Tuesday.

posted at 2:10 by ashley.harper@walb.com