Tug of war: Harrogate mayoral race heating up
Published 12:00 pm Friday, September 30, 2022
The Nov. 8 county election has produced a tight fight between two candidates who are hoping to fill the Harrogate Mayor’s seat. Linda Fultz, who decided not to run again, will be saying her goodbyes to the position she faithfully held since February of 2015, when previous mayor Bill Fultz passed away.
Meanwhile, hopefuls Troy Poore and Scott Huddleston are vying for the helm of city government.
Poore, who is the current vice-mayor, has some 22 years of experience at the local government level. Huddleston has over 25 years in government leadership.
The Claiborne Progress asked our local candidates to complete a questionnaire, which both men have submitted. Both surveys are published exactly as returned to us.
Following are their profiles, in alphabetical order.
- Please enter your name and tell us about your background (300 characters or less)
Scottie J “Hudd” Huddleston. I have 25 plus years’ experience in government leadership including personnel, safety, project and contractor management, federal and state aid programs, grant programs and budgeting. I have experience working with utility companies and traffic management also.
- Why are you the best candidate for this office? (600 characters or less)
I love the City of Harrogate and all of its citizens. I just want to give back to a community that has been a wonderful place for my wife, Michelle, and I to raise our daughter, Jaymin. I have no personal agenda in becoming mayor. I just want to help the place I call home.
- What do you think is the most pressing issue affecting us in this election cycle? (300 characters or less)
It’s hard to define 1 most pressing issue to our City at this time. The sewer expansion to the residents and areas most in need is important. But it is also important to increase revenues by helping small business develop and thrive within the City.
- How would you address this issue in your elected office? (600 characters or less)
My experience working with utility companies will allow me to properly evaluate where need is and insure that we spend grant and any other money wisely. It is important to look at expenditures with an open mind to find efficiencies that might exist.
I will work with community members to match opportunities, resources and small business owners to encourage retail in our City. We have some great small businesses and need more.
My name is Troy Poore. After graduating from Forge Ridge High School in 1970 and Lincoln Memorial University in 1974, I started my teaching career at Powell Valley High School. I then went to Forge Ridge High School for eleven years. I was then principal at Ellen Myers Primary for the next 16 years. I then finished up as the first principal of Cumberland Gap High School. I held that position for 6 years. I then moved on to the central office for the final two years of a 37 year career with the Claiborne County Board of Education. After working part time at Lincoln Memorial University for 9 years, I have retired and am free to focus all my time on being mayor of Harrogate.
My wife Floydeann and I have been married for 43 years. We have three children and three grandchildren.
I was co-owner of All StarTrophies and Screen Printing for over 10 years here in Harrogate.
I served as a county commissioner for 16 years and was chairman for 10 of those years. My district always included parts of Harrogate. I am currently serving as an alderman for the west ward of Harrogate and have been Vice-Mayor for the last two years
I think I am the best mayoral candidate for the city of Harrogate for several reasons but they actually all circle around one main reason. I have 22 years experience at the local government level. This is not just local government in general, it is with the city of Harrogate. For the 16 years that I was a county commissioner, I always represented some portion of the city of Harrogate. In the 6 years that I have been an alderman, I have represented the West ward. I have also served as Vice-Mayor for the past 2 years. Harrogate has always been my focus and always will be. I already know where the revenue comes from and how we have to budget to get the best use of every dollar. I am aware and am involved in ways to increase the revenue for the city. I know what it takes to operate the city on a day-to-day basis. I have managed work crews when I was principle at Ellen Myers and Cumberland Gap High School. I have an excellent working relationship with the existing aldermen and feel that we work well together for the common goal to make Harrogate a better place to live. I am fully retired and intend to stay fully retired. This allows me to be available any time of day or night to deal with any situation that should arise. Because I was the Principal at Ellen Myers for 16 years and Cumberland Gap High School for 6 years, I know the majority of people that live inside the city limits. Also, the fact that I have lived in Harrogate for all my life, gives me even more awareness of who the citizens are.
I think the biggest problem we face today in Federal, State, and even Local government is a lack of trust from the people that vote for us. There are plenty that do not believe we are serving their best interest but have a person agenda for what we are doing. It is very sad that this has even filtered down to the local government level. Other problems that we have on the local level depends on who you are talking to. A person that is having constant problems with a septic tank or field line has a different set of issues than someone who already has sewer service but needs their street paved. The way that I would deal with those issues is on person to person to basis but you have to be upfront and honest. You must not promise something to get votes when you know that it is a promise that cannot be kept. A citizen may not like the answer you give but if it is the truth then I believe it will stand far longer than a told lie just to make that person feel better about the question they asked. When I meet someone and they say I have a question for you, I always remind them that may not like the answer but I will answer as honest as I know how.