HUSTONVILLE — A little more than two weeks ago, Hustonville Mayor Marc Spivey was running unopposed for a new term.
Now, after an unexpected and unexplained withdrawal from Spivey less than a month before the election, at least four write-in candidates are vying for the seat.
Larry "Pup" Doss, Hadden Owens, David Peyton and Mary Lou Rossetti had all filed to seek the seat as of Tuesday night.
The deadline to file as a write-in candidate at County Clerk George Spoonamore's Stanford office is 4 p.m. Friday.
Doss, who served previously as Hustonville mayor, filed Oct. 15th, the same day The Interior Journal discovered Spivey had withdrawn.
Doss said seeing additional Hustonville residents file as candidates doesn't change anything for him.
"I wish four more would run," he said. "The more that run, the better it is. … It don't take near as many votes (to win)."
Doss said last week that he believes his record as mayor in the past speaks for itself.
"I helped them before. I've done more for Hustonville than any of the (other mayors) have done," he said. "Let the voters do the judging. The only thing I want to do is get this town back on track."
Owens, who runs a computer-repair business and has lived in Hustonville for about two years, said he understands parliamentary procedure and knows how to write grants from his time in the early 2000s running the Lincoln County Art League.
"I think it's important to have a mayor that not only knows procedure … but it's important to have a mayor who will listen to the people," he said. "I don't want to get in there and push my own personal agenda on anybody; I want to listen to people and do what the community asks."
Peyton, a Hustonville resident for about 16 months who grew up in the Lincoln County area, said he has valuable experience in construction supervision that would prove useful if he is elected.
"I think I've got a better insight into our little water department than probably anybody else running," he said. "I just want to do what's best for our little city and I think I'm the best man for the job."
Rossetti, who currently serves as a Hustonville councilwoman, said she has "invested" five years on the city council and feels the need to do something for the city.
"Obviously the city needs help. We need fresh ideas in the city and also more up-to-date ways to do things," she said. "I want to have an open city government so that the citizens can see exactly how their council people vote."
Rossetti said she is running on the slogan "What's in is out" and promised "a complete audit top to bottom, because we don't know where we stand at this point."
"I believe that's part of being open and honest with the citizens," she said. "They deserve it."
Owens and Peyton both said they would work to repeal or change some ordinances recently passed by the city that could potentially make things hard for Hustonville Haunted House and its owner, Paul Gray.
Hustonville City Council members unanimously passed three ordinances in September, restricting parking after dark, jaywalking and covering faces in public.
Peyton said he would like to repeal the jaywalking and parking ordinances but keep the face-shielding ordinance, which imposes a $100 fine on almost anyone who covers their face in public so they can't be recognized.
"As far as I'm concerned, they (the ordinances) were directed at one business in town and I'd like to see those two removed from the books," he said. "It's not right to put ordinances in directed at one business, so I'll be fighting real hard to get those off the books."
Peyton said he supports the face-shielding ordinance because he's heard reports of people at Hustonville Haunted House jumping out and scaring people in public while in costume.
Owens said he supports the jaywalking ordinance, which places a $50 fine on crossing streets outside of crosswalks. But Owens said he would prefer to work with business owners like Gray when there are disagreements, rather than legislating proper behavior via ordinances and hefty fines.
"I don't believe (Spivey) had bad intentions. I think what they're trying to do is make Main Street look nice," he said. "Instead of imposing ordinances on a man who's just trying to run a business, we need to bring him to the table and negotiate."
Polls are open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 6 for the general election. Check next week’s Interior Journal for a special preview section with sample ballots and candidate information.