Moore wins Linden runoff

Charles Moore will be the new mayor of Linden Nov. 5 after winning a runoff election over incumbent Mitzi Gates 484 votes to 210.

“I’ve been in politics in the past. I was commissioner for 16 years and a councilman two years prior to that and I ran for mayor last time,” Moore said before pointing to the reasons he decided to seek the mayoral office and what he aims to accomplish during his tenure at the head of the city. “It’s going to be a job. When you’re out there meeting the public, one of the biggest issues are jobs. And I know I’ve said this several times, but if we can’t get jobs in Linden, I want them for Marengo County. If they come to Marengo County, Lindenites can get work. And your tax structures are where it all starts and ends.”

Moore said his chief focus will be helping to facilitate job creation for Linden and the surrounding area with the ultimate goal of keeping Marengo County’s young people close to home.

“Over the years, not just the past four, in the past our young people are leaving here. Not just Linden, Marengo County. If you don’t get a job at a paper mill, they have to go. They have to go where the work is,” Moore said. “I’d just like to see our young people stay here and be active in what goes on. That’s a job that’s got to be done.”

Gates expressed her gratitude to the citizens of Linden and those who have worked alongside her during her four years at the head of the city.

“I’ve had a wonderful four years of serving the citizens of Linden, whom I love dearly. And I look forward to having a new mayor having all the best and hope he can accomplish more than I was able to, although I am grateful for the things we were able to get accomplished in four years,” Gates said. “I’m going to really miss working with the folks here at City Hall. I can’t say enough about what they’ve meant to me and what a fantastic job they do for the people of Linden.”

While she was disappointed in the results, Gates, who is also an English teacher at Linden High School, indicated that she looks forward to the next  chapter of her professional life.

“From the very beginning, back in June, in making the decision whether or not to run, Greg and I both prayed about it and just said that we would trust that God’s will would be done and that if this was not the place of service for me, I know that He has something else in mind,” Gates said.

Gates forced the runoff in August, edging Joe Young out of a three-way race. Gates pulled 235 votes at the Aug. 28 elections while Young had 230. Moore pulled 345 votes that night.