IRONTON, Ohio (WOWK) — The mayoral race in Ironton is nearing an end. This year’s election is between two hopeful candidates – both of whom would make history if elected next Tuesday.
Whether it’s incumbent Mayor, and first Ironton female mayor, Katrina Keith; or 28-year-old community organizer Sam Cramblit, this mayoral race will go down in the history books. Keith would be the first female mayor elected to a second term, while Cramblit would be Ironton’s youngest mayor.
Both candidates agree that the top priorities for the city are economic development, infrastructure, and downtown revitalization.
“We’ve got a few people that are very invested down there, but we have a lot of empty buildings,” said Cramblit. “We have to centralize that [and] get strategic where we develop.”
“We want to be able to upgrade the downtown community so we can do community development, a place where they can come, they can live, [and] they can shop,” said Keith. “We’re looking at tourism to do that.”
One of the things both candidates do disagree on is the municipal tax proposal, which would increase the current Ironton income tax from 1% to 1.75%.
“The income tax, I support that,” said Keith. “You could go either way. As a mayor, it’s not my responsibility or my authority over how we receive city funds, that’s city council’s job.”
“I don’t believe that putting taxes and fees on our citizens is going to help make us any more marketable,” said Cramblit. “We have to also establish a marketable city for people to want to come here and build their business and buy into our city.”
Both candidates where asked point-blank why voters should elect them. A decision voters will ultimately make at the polls next Tuesday.
“I believe that I have the most experience when it comes to managing large groups of people. I’ve managed much larger projects, much larger workforces, much larger budgets in the past,” said Cramblit. “I’ve done a lot of community building all around the country [and] it’s been very successful. I want to take the skills that I’ve learned along the way and take what I’ve seen and apply it to Ironton.”
“I believe that the work we have performed thus far over the past four years has been successful,” said Keith. “We’re not afraid to challenge, we’re not afraid to touch controversial topics. This has to be about Ironton, and I think I’m more about Ironton than I am about myself.”
Both candidates went in-depth about their plans and visions for the city. You can watch the full interviews on this page.