Riddick running for mayor

Published 8:07 am Friday, February 26, 2010

FRANKLIN—A member of the Franklin Planning Commission has announced his intention to run for mayor.

James M. Riddick Sr., 58, a small-business contractor, spent Thursday collecting the rest of the 125 signatures he needed to file paperwork to run for office.

He declined to discuss the platform on which he plans to run.

“I want to make sure I am the people’s candidate before I disclose that,” Riddick said.

Riddick has been a member of the planning commission for four years. He is a retired civil servant who spent 37 years working on federal government contracts.

The North Carolina native said he moved to Franklin in 1960 “before Franklin became a city.”

A veteran of the Army, National Guard and Army Reserve, Riddick said his extensive travels have prepared him to deal with all types of people.

“We can come closer together, be more real with each other,” he said, when asked what the biggest issue facing Franklin is today. “People don’t need to be afraid of each other.”

When asked why he decided to seek the mayor position, Riddick said, “I saw the mayor in Franklin. I think he might be tired, and I think I have something to offer. I’m a very well-traveled person.”

Riddick ran for a City Council seat in 1998 as a write-in candidate.

“I only lost by 35 votes,” he said.

The deadline to file paperwork for the May 4 election is Tuesday. Incumbent Mayor Jim Councill has turned his in, according to the Voter Registrar’s office.

The City Council will have at least one new member on July 1. Councilman Mark Fetherolf, who represents Ward 6, said that he wouldn’t seek re-election to the seat. So far, no one has filed paperwork to run for that seat.

Councilwoman Mary Hilliard is also seeking re-election to her seat; she was re-elected without opposition in 2006 and has filed her paperwork.

Councilwoman Rosa Lawrence also is seeking a second term representing Ward 3. Lawrence replaced E. Kent Pope in 2006.