The ballot in the race for the mayor of Longview is pretty full, and a Longview woman with no political experience hopes to be the next mayor. Julie Johnson-Ray has no experience at city council or mayor, but she feels she is what is needed to bring some sanity to a city government that has had its embarrassing moments over the past year.
"You know as a longtime resident of Longview, I'm embarrassed by the things that have gone on with our elected leadership and I think all of the candidates are talking about the fact that that's one of the priorities that we're going to take into this election," says Johnson-Ray.
Mayor Murray Moore's resignation and political turmoil among the council were reason enough for Johnson-Ray to enter the race.
"The decision to run for mayor was predicated on the answer to three questions; Was Longview seen in her best light? Have we put ourselves in the best possible position to move forward? What can i do about it," she says.
With a masters degree from UT Tyler in public administration, Johnson-Ray has carried her message to the people saying she has the tools to lead. The biggest issue for her, Cohesion!
"To establish some rules of conduct for our city council members, it's a little embarrassing to think we have to think we have to establish rules of conduct for adults," she says.
With only a year to serve of the remaining term before another election, Johnson-Ray says new leadership is needed and her message to voters is simple.
"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.".
Early voting will continue on weekdays until May 3rd at Longview City Hall from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. You can also vote early Saturday April 30th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The regular election is May 7th.