It's ten months away but the race for the open Sioux Falls mayor seat is starting to get crowded.
One candidate has already officially filed the paperwork to run in the April election, and two others plan to officially throw their hats into the ring this week.
The first official candidate for mayor is already familiar with the ins and outs of City Hall. City council member Vernon Brown has turned in his papers declaring a run for mayor in April 2010.
Brown has served on the City Council for five years and ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 2006. Brown says economic development and a strong workforce are the keys to moving Sioux Falls forward.
"If we create a city where people want to live, work, and play it means we can keep families together in Sioux Falls. It means we can attract a strong workforce, a professional workforce here that will continue to make the city thrive economically," Brown said.
The man who created the form of city government Sioux Falls operates under says he'll also run for mayor. Bill Peterson led the initiative to create a full-time mayor position for the city back in 1994. The former state Representative and House Majority leader plans to turn in his official paperwork by the end of the week.
"I think the question we have to ask in Sioux Falls going forward in the next couple of decades is, 'What sort of city are we? What kind of jobs are we going to have? What kind of amenities and culture are we going to have here?'" Peterson said.
Mike Huether says he will file his papers for a mayoral candidacy Wednesday. Huether is the Executive Vice President at Premier Bankcard and says the mayor's seat is a job he's looked forward to since sixth grade. Huether volunteers on several boards, including the Banquet and the Helpline, and estimates he already spends 400 hours a year involved in community and state activities.
"We have made great strides in Sioux Falls and we are truly a gem, however, we have the ability to do even more and with that in mind I know I can take this city to an even higher level of performance and accountability," Huether said.
The election for mayor will be held April 13, 2010. The top two candidates will then face off on April 27th. In that election, Sioux Falls voters will not only select a new mayor but also three new council members, almost half of the eight member board.