CLINTON, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — An interesting race is shaping up in the city of Clinton, Indiana, as the current mayor, Jack Gilfoy, is facing a challenge from a fellow democrat, Grant Shortridge.
“He has already served three terms,” Shortridge said, in response to a question asking why he was running for office. “So, I think that, naturally, there just comes a time when its time to pass the baton to someone else and I think I’m a good candidate to pass the baton to.”
The 27-year-old is a newcomer to the political stage. He said, “My heart and my soul are in Clinton and, I believe, that the time is now for new leadership that can lay out a vision for our future; communicate what that vision is to the public and really explain how we can achieve those goals.”
Both Shortridge and his opponent, the incumbent mayor, agree that infrastructure and quality of place are important issues facing the city.
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“It’s a big, big factor. I know, we try to do our best to provide for the citizens and [do] what we can. We have great parks,” Gilfoy explains. “We’ve done a lot of work on our parks. We’ve purchased a building here and made it into a community center. We’ve done a lot of renovation there and it has been utilized quite a bit. It can also be a safe haven for people if we have issues.”
Shortridge believes more should be done to help inspire pride in the city of Clinton.
“If we can improve the physical look of Clinton, by repaving our streets and repaving our sidewalks and cleaning up properties, then community pride will follow shortly thereafter. The thing about pride, it’s also infectious. So, once people see you have pride in your own home or your own community, they’re going to start making their own voluntary improvements and they’re going to start investing in Clinton.”
Mayor Gilfoy believes he has the experience to continue leading the city.
“We’ve done a great job the past two years,” says Gilfoy. I’ve got a great team here and we’ve done some great things in the city. Each year, we set goals and, honestly, each year, we have exceeded those goals.” He continued, “Not one time, in 12 years, have we ever been in the red at the end of the year in any of our budget lines. I just enjoy working with the people and, I enjoy seeing things getting done here in the community.”
After discussing the issues, we asked both candidates to make their final pitch to voters, ahead of next month’s Primary Elections in Indiana.
Shortridge argues, “I have a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Rose Hulman. I am finishing up my Masters of Business Administration degree so, those things are very relevant to the office of mayor. As mayor, you deal with a lot of infrastructure, and you deal with a lot of finance. So, between my aptitude for leadership and my background, I’ll be able to conduct business and lead from day one.”
As for Gilfoy, he’s encouraging voters to look at his record. “I think my past record speaks for itself. We do a great job. We’ve utilized our biggest asset; that’s our employees. They do a great job. We all work as a team. So, I think if the citizens just look around and see what we’ve done here. I appreciate them and I appreciate their trust in me in the last 12 years here.