Write-in candidacy could shake up Trinity mayor’s race

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 05:22 PM

Supporters of longtime Trinity City Councilwoman Karen Bridges have put forth her name as a write-in candidate for the city’s mayoral race.
Bridges said numerous residents came to her and said they are working to build support among voters to write her name on the ballot as their choice for mayor when they cast their votes on Election Day next month.
Her name will not appear on the ballot alongside incumbent Mayor Carlton Boyles, who is seeking re-election, and challenger Fran Andrews.
Bridges did not file for re-election for another term as a Ward 3 council representative or for any other position. She said she had planned on leaving council altogether this year but, since the end of the filing period in July, residents have asked her to reconsider.
She said she is not actively campaigning, but others apparently are doing so on her behalf.
“It was kind of compelling, because people kept calling and asking. It was not my original goal. If people are willing to work that hard for me, then of course, if I win, I will serve to the best of my ability,” Bridges said.
Andrews and Boyles said Friday they were unaware of Bridges’ write-in candidacy.
“That’s her prerogative, but I will stick to the plans I have put in place,” said Andrews, who served as Trinity mayor from 2005 to 2009, when she lost to Boyles.
That mayoral race included a write-in candidate — former Councilman Kelly Grooms.
Boyles, who served on council for two terms prior to being elected mayor, likewise said he was unfazed by the prospect of a three-person race.
“It’s not going to impact me at all,” he said.
Boyles and Bridges have opposed each other on many of the controversies that have embroiled Trinity over the years. The city has struggled to attract commercial and industrial growth to help expand its tax base to address its multi-million debt for sewer development.
Bridges, who has served three terms on council, said she believes she could bring the knowledge and experience to the city’s top elected post to be able to move the council forward.
“I think people want someone who’s going to be able to run a fair and evenhanded meeting, someone who’s going to represent the city positively,” she said.