The Republicans plan tonight to nominate Mary Alford, a 62-year-old bookkeeper, as their new mayoral candidate.
Alford hasn't run for political office before, but she's always had an interest.
During a stop at the Press this morning, she said she views economic development "as the lifeblod of a city. Education is really the heart, hwere the young get trained to take over."
She said that public safety is crucial and hailed the police and fire departments as "some of the best anywhere."
Alford even have kind words for public works, which she said does "a terrific job under very difficult circumstances."
Alford said she doesn't know incumbent Mayor Art Ward and did not want to criticize him.
She said she decided to run after the GOP's city chairman, T.J. Barnes, asked her to consider it following John Gill's decision to pull out of the race this month.
"There should always be a choice. That's what we do in this country," Alford said.
Barnes said that Alford deserves "big kudos" for having the courage to step into the political arena.
"Mary has a lot of enthusiasm and energy," Barnes said, and can "put a smile on her face through good times and bad."
The Republican Party plans to endorse Alford in a meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at City Hall.
I'll have more on her later today.
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