Sanders, Lewis to face off Nov. 5

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 03:49 PM.

"I think that Jimmy and I have some completely different philosophies of leadership. I think mine fits our challenges better today," Lewis said. "I would never have dreamed of running against him as mayor four years ago because I thought that his leadership and his philosophy was what the city needed, but I think that has changed over the last four years and I think in today’s economic climate and with the challenges we’re facing as a city that my philosophy fits better than his does.

"I told Jimmy that that was the way I felt and Jimmy said that he understood. He understood what I was saying to him. I wouldn’t say that he necessarily agreed, but he certainly said that he understood where I was coming from in deciding to run for the city of Havelock.

"I do have an immense amount of respect for Jimmy Sanders and everything that he’s done for this city. He certainly has had a long time he has been working at it."

Sanders’ service to the city dates to 1974. After getting out of the Air Force, he joined the fire department, later becoming volunteer fire chief. He was elected commissioner in 1979 and then appointed mayor in 1986 when Tom Mylett resigned.

Sanders ran unopposed for mayor in 1987 but didn’t run in 1989. He ran again in 1993, winning over Don Beaver. In 1995 he won again, but in 1997 lost to George Griffin. The city charter changed the mayor’s term from two years to four in 2001. Sanders won in 2005 and 2009, and has been leading the city since.

Sanders said he has developed good relationships with several sitting legislators and believes those relationships will be key in the next couple of years.

"If you stay around long enough, you get to meet lots of folks and I think over time people know what you are as a commodity," Sanders said. "Before you create partnerships, you need to create relationships. I think that’s very true. You have to have a relationship with somebody. You’ve got to know them, trust them. Once you do that, it’s a whole lot easier to get the partnership done and get things accomplished.

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