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Hunter drops out of race, backs Odom for council

By Scott Harvey

Commerce – Commerce City Council Candidate for Place 3 Ray Hunter has withdrawn from the May 14 elections, citing unforeseen circumstances.

Hunter did not participate in Wednesday night's Candidates Forum, which aired on KETR.

Although his name will still appear on the May ballot as it was not withdrawn in time, Hunter is asking residents to vote for Michael Odom. Odom is opposing Place 3 Incumbent Richard Hill.

In a letter to KETR, Hunter said he first decided to run for office because he saw the city needed help, help that would not coming about by electing the same people to office who "have been causing many of our problems." He spoke out against recent lawsuits and the expense to taxpayers, and last year's suspension and subsequent resignation of former City Manager Dion Miller.

Ray Hunter's letter to KETR:

Citizens of Commerce,

Due to circumstances beyond my control I am withdrawing from the May election for Commerce City Council. I wanted to run because I see that our city needs help. That help will not come about by electing the same people to office who have been causing many of our problems. Voting to prolong lawsuits resulting in a year's worth of extra legal fees, allowing two lawyers to bill for the same services, suspending a perfectly good city manger resulting in a $90,000 severance package, and bringing personal vendettas into our council chambers is not effective government. Therefore, as the filing deadline approached I did not want to see an incumbent go unchallenged.

Luckily Mike Odom registered for the same position so my withdrawal will not leave the incumbent unchallenged. I believe that Mike Odom is a worthy candidate and I am fully supporting his campaign. Furthermore, I hope that all of my supports will do the same. Mike Odom is a good man. He and his wife, Donna, have lived and taught here in Commerce for quite a few years now. Mike has been instrumental in bringing positive quality of life improvements here to our great city of Commerce like the Commerce Community Garden and the Commerce Office of Cultural Affairs (COCA). In addition to those endeavors Mike is also a member of the Library Board and a member of the Commerce Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. In 2008 Mike Odom was inducted into Author's Park as an artist. In 2010 he participated in the Commerce Leadership Institute and he continues to support CLI as a volunteer. Mike Odom is passionate about making our city a better place to live and is not afraid to do the work that is necessary to make that happen.

Although my name will be on the ballot in May I am asking everyone to please vote for Mike Odom, he is what Commerce needs.

Thank you,

Ray Hunter