Gooding County elections highlighted by tight mayoral race

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GOODING, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Voters in Gooding have two choices for mayor for the next four-year term.

KMVT spoke to each of them and gave them a chance to tell voters why they're right for the job.

Incumbent Walter Nelson has lived in Gooding his entire life and worked in banking and financing before retiring, which he said gives him valuable insight as mayor.

"My knowledge of the budget and my knowledge of projects that are currently in process," he said.

Jeff Brekke works in retail management and owns a gym in downtown Gooding. He said his main focus is open government.

"We want to develop relationships with businesses, civic groups and bring everyone together in order to improve the town," he said.

Both candidates said growth and a revitalization of downtown are high priorities.

"We want to improve the quality of daily life here in Gooding for the residents and for prospective businesses to come into town," Brekke said.

"I'd like to see it grow and grow in an acceptable manner," Nelson said. "I would like to see businesses come to Gooding. I would like to see people move to Gooding."

Lastly I asked each of the candidates to tell me why you should vote for them.

Nelson said he is a mayor for the people.

"People will talk to me freely," he said. "They know that I can, I will do something to correct their problem or to give an explanation of what's going on."

Brekke said he sees a chance to accomplish something new in Gooding.

"If you're unsure of how things have been in the past or if you think they could have been a little bit better, take a chance on us," he said.

Voters in Gooding will also chose two new City Council members from four in the running.

Diane Houser and Mel Magnelli are running for reelection alongside newcomers Chuck Cram and Colin Smith. The elected officials will serve a four year term.

In Wendell, voters have a choice of three city council candidates, to fill two open seats.

Herb Alred is currently serving on the council. Seaira Gold and Francis Parish are new to the race.

In Hagerman, they have three new candidates vying for two open spots.

Voters can chose two from Steven Bland, Alan Jay and Carl Jeffries.

Early voting is open now at the Gooding County Courthouse, and the official election date is Nov. 7.

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