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Mayor Virtue won’t seek re-election; Blackfoot man announces candidacy

November may be seven months away, but some people are already preparing for city elections.

Blackfoot Mayor Mike Virtue has announced he won’t seek re-election for a third term and Thursday , the head of the Bingham County Republican Party announced he’s looking to replace him.

“This position has been the first I ever had in my hometown,” said Virtue.

In 8 months, Virtue will leave the position he’s held for the last 7 years.

“The mayors can set the tone and make the decisions that need to be made; but everything that occurs day after day after day, irrespective of who the mayor is, is done by the people on the ground,” said Virtue.

While Mayor Virtue is looking forward to retirement, Dan Cravens, is looking forward to the campaign trail.

Thursday afternoon, Cravens officially announced he’s running for mayor.

“People here in Blackfoot care about their neighbors,” said Cravens. “They care about their community and they care about each other. Blackfoot is a great place to live.”

Cravens serves as the head of Bingham County’s Republican Party and a regional economist for the state’s Department of Labor’s Pocatello office.

So it comes as no surprise, he’s running on a platform for economic development.

“$10 and $11/hour jobs…we can do better than that here in Blackfoot,” said Cravens. “We need jobs here in our community that can help support a family, that can provide people with a living wage.”

Those planning to run for city offices can’t officially file until late August.

Aside from the mayor’s seat, all of the city council seats will also be up for grabs this November.

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