Crawford County voters will have several state and national races to weigh in on in the November election, but at the local level there are fewer to watch. One that could get interesting, though, is the County Commission District 2 race, where Edward (Ed) Fields is challenging longtime Commissioner Tom Moody for his seat.
"As a member and taxpayer of this county, I believe projects must be approached cost-effectively," Fields wrote in an emailed response to a question from the Morning Sun about his reasons for running. "Preventative care and maintenance on the county’s road and bridges as opposed to repetitive and costly repairs."
Fields, who is running as a Republican, recently announced his retirement from his position as Crawford County noxious weed director, and said his 28 years of experience working for the county "with the last fifteen spent face to face with the taxpayers, set me apart from my opponent."
Moody, meanwhile, pointed to his more than 20 years as 2nd District Commissioner and more than 30 years as a business owner as qualifications that set him apart.
"This experience is crucial as I know firsthand how important it is to provide a service to community members, while being mindful of the economic impact this may have," Moody wrote. "I know the importance of economic development and providing the necessary jobs that keep this community the great place it is to live, work, and raise our families."
The district currently represented by Moody — a Democrat — includes Arcadia, Arma, Capaldo, Crowe, Franklin, Frontenac, Lincoln, Mulberry, Parkview, and parts of Pittsburg.
"I consider serving the people of Crawford County a privilege and I can provide the leadership, direction and dedication the citizens of Crawford County have come to expect," Moody wrote. "I will pledge to continue to serve the taxpayers of Crawford County and find ways to create additional economic development opportunities."
Fields, for his part, wrote that his "direct contact with the community and almost three decades working in the belly of the beast" would allow him "to have a greater perspective and understanding of this county’s needs and its members’ expectations."
In outlining his top priorities, Fields said he would promote community outreach to get taxpayer input on county projects, along with continuing education for employees on equipment use and maintenance, safety, and environmental awareness.
"I also feel strongly that the county needs an HR representative to sit in on Commissioner meetings that involve employment decisions," he wrote.
In terms of top priorities, among others, Moody pointed to his leadership amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
"My priorities will include continuing to lead Crawford County through this pandemic," he wrote. "I will serve as a proven leader to provide communication with my constituents."
He also noted other priorities, however, such as keeping property taxes low.
"We have lowered the mill levy for the past five years," Moody wrote. "I will continue to prioritize keeping the mill levy down. This has demonstrated that we can still maintain county services, upgrade roads and bridges, provide law enforcement, and upgraded emergency services, all while practicing fiscal responsibility."
District 2 voters will have the opportunity Nov. 3 — or earlier if voting by mail — to make their voices heard in deciding which candidate’s pitch has a greater appeal for them.