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Five candidates file to run in Hancock races

December 01, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HANCOCK - Three incumbents and a former councilman are among the five candidates seeking office in the upcoming Hancock municipal election.

Thursday was the deadline to file for the Jan. 29 election. Voters will decide between two candidates for mayor and three candidates for two open council seats

Mayor Daniel A. Murphy filed for re-election to that post. He will run against former councilman Greg Yost, town officials said.

Councilmen Sinclair Hamilton and Randy Pittman are seeking re-election, and newcomer Timothy Smith filed for a seat on the town council, officials said.

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Murphy, a Hancock veterinarian, is running for his sixth term.

"I enjoy helping to solve the problems of the ones who live in this little town that make it so special and near and dear to my heart," he said.

He said Hancock is a better place to live now than it was when he first took office, and the council works well together. Murphy cited several ongoing projects he was looking forward to continuing if elected to a sixth term, including work on the town's parks.

He said a comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance for the town also was in the works.

"It's something to protect the people who live here from developers who are coming our way, like it's coming everywhere else in Washington County," Murphy said.

Yost, deputy chief at Hancock Fire Co., served two consecutive four-year terms on the town council. When his term ended, he ran for mayor and was defeated by Murphy.

He said he wanted to run for mayor to offer voters a choice.

"I'm not real happy with some of the things that are going on, and the direction of the town," Yost said. "We're losing jobs, and there seems to be a negative climate."

He said he would like to work with the citizens, along with past and current community leaders. Yost said he would also like to attract more jobs and businesses to Hancock.

Pittman, who owns two Hancock businesses, has served two terms on the town council, and said the decision to run for a third was an easy one.

"Let's just say that for the first time in a long time, the town is in excellent condition," he said. "We've got it headed in the right direction, and it has been a pure joy and pleasure to serve on the council. We've put a lot of work into it, and now can do some extras that will really dress up the community."

Hamilton and Timothy Smith could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Hamilton was appointed to the council in 2005 to replace David Smith, who resigned to become town manager.

The election will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at the town hall and the community center.

The deadline to register to vote in the election is Jan. 4. Absentee ballots may be requested until Jan. 15.

Staff writer Tammy Baker contributed to this story.

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