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Posted: July 17, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Riley announces candidacy for Mansfield mayor

Although the full ballot has not yet been revealed for the upcoming special election for Mansfield’s mayor, one candidate is known.

Interim Mayor Jefferson Riley said he intends to run for the mayoral post in Mansfield’s Sept. 23 election. Riley, who was elected in Nov. 2013 to the City Council, has been serving in the post since the resignation of former mayor Estona Middlebrooks at the beginning of the year.

“There’s a lot of work to be done in Mansfield, and I feel like my business experience can be helpful to get things accomplished,” Riley said.

He said he believes the current City Council makes a good team and works well together and that he looks forward to working with them if he becomes the city’s official mayor.

Riley’s opposing candidates, if there are any, have not been decided yet, as qualifying will be Aug. 20-22. Riley said he has not heard of anyone else who intends to run. If he is the last man standing after qualifying, he will immediately fill the mayoral post. If someone does run against him, the September election must proceed. An election costs the City of Mansfield about $6,000, Riley said.

However, there will be at least one election whether Riley is opposed or not, as his council seat must be filled after he is required to resign to run for mayor. At that time, Matt Clark, mayor pro tem, will fill in as mayor for the time between qualifying and the election.

“In the meantime, I have responsibilities as mayor, so I intend to do my best to fulfill those responsibilities,” Riley said, mentioning current projects such as constructing sidewalks and repaving streets in the downtown area and creating a nature trail.

Riley said with the hiring of Marcia Allen, treasurer for the City of Mansfield, three weeks ago, the council will see a full financial report and operating statement for the first time in about a year and a half.

“I believe in transparency,” Riley said. “I really feel blessed to live in Mansfield and serve the people of Mansfield.”

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