Alderman Is 4th Candidate To Announce For Springfield Mayor
A member of Springfield's city council says she is running for mayor. Alderman Gail Simpson, who is African American, says the community is too segregated, and she is better equipped than the other candidates to fix that problem.
“I have a concern with a total part of this city – it’s not just the east side, because there are residents on the south, east, and north side that don’t have a voice. You know – they’re two cities,” Simpson said.
Simpson also says if elected, she would especially focus on the issues of homelessness and dealing with abandoned buildings. She's a state employee who in her second term representing Ward 2.
She has been a critic of city policies that she says have left the east side behind. But Simpson says what she’d bring to the table as mayor is empathy for ALL residents.
“I can put myself in the place of individuals who live west who are facing all the sprawl, and how the quality of their life is affected. I can empathize with individuals who live next door to a blighted building and the quality of their life is affected.”
Simpson is the fourth candidate to announce a bid for mayor. The others include incumbent Mike Houston, City Treasurer Jim Langfelder and Sangamon County Auditor Paul Palazzolo. The State Journal Register says Sheila Stocks-Smith, who failed in her try for the mayor's office in 2011, is considering another run. Five candidates would force a primary election early next year.