Both candidates for the Washington County, Tennessee mayor's race -- incumbent Dan Eldridge and challenger Mike Rutherford -- tell us they have good, respectable reasons to run.
"More than anything else, I just have a desire to see things through," Eldridge said.
"I've been involved in one fashion or the other with county government for the last 30 years," Rutherford said. "And it has recently over the past few years become very noticeable that our legislative body and our mayor are not working well with each other."
A county commission that's not communicating on the same page, that lacks peace and harmony; those have been big buzz words for Rutherford during his campaign. "I think what you're hearing from my opponent is a reflection of his position with those that don't want to see things change," Eldridge said. "And quite frankly, Washington County is changing. One of the things that I committed at the beginning of my term was I was going to manage Washington County like a business, and that means getting away from the 'good ol' boy' way of doing things."
"I have worked individually with six different county commissions with success," Rutherford said. "I think I can bring to the table for the citizens a peace and harmony amongst the commission and get us on the right track of cooperating with Johnson City and each other."
Eldridge tells us his number one priority if re-elected is to continue keeping county finances in order, while Rutherford says his is to unite the county commission and the mayor's office, and that his 30 years experience working in county government as a commissioner and zoning administrator makes him mayor-ready.
"I'm ready to go," Rutherford said. "I'm very knowledgeable because of that experience."
"We're going to move forward," Eldridge said. "We are on the right track and I want to see it through."
Early voting continues in Washington County, Tennessee through May 1. The primary election is Tuesday, May 6.