Third write-in candidate files for Marshall mayoral post
Tina N. Wilder-Hughes of Marshall filed on Friday, March 23 as the last write-in candidate for mayor since the deadline for filing was Friday, March 23.
"I have been thinking about running for mayor for a few months, but people kept telling me I couldn't cause I am handicapped and a number of other reasons," said Hughes, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. "When I had enough 'nos' I decided it was time to prove to them that I can. Just because my body doesn't work, doesn't mean my mind doesn't."
Hughes is a life-long resident of Marshall. She graduated from Marshall High School in 1992. She has taken psychology and sociology classes at State Fair Community College in Sedalia and Missouri Valley College in Marshall.
Hughes and her husband, Todd, have a 15-year-old daughter, Brittany, and a two-year-old son, Devin.
Hughes views the role of a mayor as a responsibility to unite the city. "I see the city as kind of divided." There is a presence of lower class, middle class and upper class, Hughes said. "The lower class feels they don't have a word in what Marshall does." Hughes plans to get out and talk to everyone and to be open to any problems or views that citizens have. "My plan is to be available."
The mayor and city council have to work together, Hughes said. "You can't have an adequate city unless the two are working together."
The business community in Marshall is very important to Hughes. "I am really in support of entrepreneurship." Hughes said the need for small businesses is great in a community. She would also like to see all vacant business buildings in use, especially the ones in the Marshall Plaza. "As mayor you have to get out there and stir them up," Hughes said. "You have got to get out there and talk to them, encourage them."
Hughes has several reasons for running for mayor. "I have been in the lower class and the middle class," Hughes said. "When I was in the lower class, I felt like I had no views and my opinion didn't matter." Hughes wants all classes to have equal speech.
"I am running to encourage people my age, with disabilities, or of any class to speak up and be involved in the decisions of their city. Apply yourself and you can do anything."
Hughes wants Marshall to become a city people want to visit or live in. She said she hears seniors in high school, all the time, saying "I can't wait to graduate and get out of here." Hughes said the city needs them to stay because they will be the future of our city. "We need to make Marshall interesting and appealing."
Hughes sets three priorities for Marshall: New businesses, student involvement and timely progress on city projects.
Hughes would like to see new businesses, both small and large, that bring in competition. High school students need to be involved in the community for the future of Marshall.
"I want to work with the city council," Hughes said. "We will work as one and unite as one." This union will help the city get things done more efficiently. The involvement of the citizens is important to Hughes. She plans to let them know what is going on that will help with community involvement.
In the first six months, if elected mayor, Hughes plans to promote and encourage businesses to come to Marshall. "I have ideas and have talked to a lot of people for ideas on how to do this."
She would also like to make Marshall more accessible for the handicapped and elderly citizens and visitors. People have told her that Marshall is one of most difficult cities to maneuver in for the handicapped, Hughes said. She would also like to promote the hiring of the handicapped.
Hughes is involved in church and is a high school substitute teacher
She is also the chairperson for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society.
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