The mayoral race in huntsville is getting closer...and could go to anyone.
No incumbent after the city's former mayor resigned. One former and two current councilmembers, an architect and a professor are all vying for the city's leading position.
A live debate among 4 of the 5 candidates was held at Sam Houston State University...addressing issues like economic development, the relationship of the university and the city and taxes.
Vance Howard is a Huntsville business man and as a former councilmember and says he brings experience to the table.
"I think we're gonna have to put in enough infrastructure inside the city to accommodate the new people that are gonna be moving to Huntsville. Two main areas are water and transportation we're gonna have to lock in a long term water rate and make sure we have proper transportation to move citizens around huntville efficiently." says Howard.
J Turner, a local architect is new to the political arena but is concerned about the financial status of the city.
"We've been attending council meetings for the past 10 years...we've seen a lot of things take place during that time. One of the things is a quadruple in debt. I think its an issue that doesn't get a lot of attention." says Turner.
Mickey Evans currently sits on the council and if elected, woud like to see a more long term comprehensive plan for the city's continued growth.
"As the community has matured over the years, I think our city government has to also mature as well. Big things i'm looking forward to in the next couple years is doing things a little differently -- doing business different than we have in the past because basically operating one year at a time. " says Evans.
Gary Crawford also sits on council and with the recent turmoil of losing its mayor and says the city is ready for a new leader.
"We'll be able to go forward and the focus is already forward. Some people say we need to start over and i've learned sometimes you take what you got and do the best you can with it." says Crawford.
The decision of who will become the next mayor will be up to the voters.