Field Getting Crowded For Huntington's GOP Mayoral Primary

By Jeff Neumeyer

November 19, 2010 Updated Nov 19, 2010 at 7:20 PM EDT

HUNTINGTON, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Huntington's republican mayoral primary may well be filled to overflow with contenders.

Four candidates are planning to run, and that doesn't even count the incumbent mayor.

Current Mayor Steve Updike has been under the gun and likely is viewed as vulnerable, given the financial problems that city is experiencing.

There's a question of whether Updike will even bother to run again.

We do know that city council member Brooks Fetters is seeking the job.

The pastor and funeral home director announced his intention to run Friday afternoon at a local coffee shop.

He pledges, if elected, to find cost savings to try and head off the need to raise taxes or fees to deal with the city's debt.

That debt climbed above the $1-million mark earlier this year, prompting Updike to take corrective action that got citizens riled up.

He cut firefighter positions, which were later restored, then worked to implement a garbage collection fee increase to raise needed revenues.

Brooks Fetters/(R) Huntington Mayoral Candidate: " The last three years are hard for anybody. It's a hard time to be a mayor, a city councilman, anybody. I have to assume when he gets up every morning, he's gone to the office and has been committed to doing the very best he knows how to do."

Fetters has company in the GOP primary.

Former Mayor Terry Abbett said months ago he would try to get his old job back.

Huntington County Sheriff’s officer Tom Carney is also in the field, along with another city councilman, Erv Ebersole.

Updike says he will announce his future political plans after the first of the year.

He may use the time to decide if he wants to put up with the stress of four more years on the mayoral hot seat.

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