Attorney and Ward 2 City Councilman Dustin Markham has announced his party affiliation in running for mayor. In 2013, he ran as a Democrat for city council but is now running as an Independent.
“I knew I was a Meridianite first. I knew I had to make decisions that would benefit the entire city, regardless of what my political affiliations are. In running for mayor as an independent, i can’t let any political affiliations, political ties, or political ideals prevent me or restrict me from working with the entire city.”
If elected mayor, Markham said his primary focus will be on crime and economic development.
“We lost about 125 jobs from Avery Dennison that were phased out over the last few months. We have yet to replace them. We can’t continue to replace quality jobs in our job market with fast food jobs and restaurant jobs. Our citizens are having to work two to three jobs to just maintain for themselves and their families. We need to be able to be aggressive in recruitment. We also need to be able to close a deal and bring quality jobs here.”
To target crime in Meridian, Markham said internal issues in the police department need to be addressed.
“Officers that have accelerated in rank without necessarily needing to hold that rank. Some performing duties that they should not be performing. You have many guys who don’t want to stay here because other avenues are better. As far as raises, raises have been given to them, but there are still some places in the police department and across the city of Meridian being paid below the state average.”
He explained why residents should vote for him.
“I can work across the color barrier. I can work across the financial barrier. I can work on several
different boards and communicate with several different types of people, whether they’re young, seasoned, or in between. I’ve shown that for four years. I’ve been fair for four years. The citizens appreciate that I’ve been understanding, willing to listen, and straight down the middle as it relates to determining what’s best for the city as a whole.”
Markham will make his official candidacy announcement at the Temple Theater on Sunday at 7 p.m.