Three competing to be next Geronimo mayor

Three competing to be next Geronimo mayor

GERONIMO, KSWO (KSWO) - In just under two weeks, the town of Geronimo will have a new mayor.

One of those candidates, Don Setzer, is from Lawton and has lived in Geronimo for the last 28 years. He is a member of the Geronimo City Council and has been filling in as mayor for the last few months.

Another candidate, Ned Hodge, is from North Carolina originally but has lived in Geronimo for 11 years. He said he doesn't think the town's leadership has been listening to the people and he wants to change that.

The third candidate is Katherine Rice, who is from a small town near Tampa, Florida. She has lived in the northeast for much of her life but moved to Geronimo 8 months ago when her husband, who is in the military, was stationed at Fort Sill.

Setzer said he joined the city council because he was looking to get more involved in his community. Now, he's running for mayor and said if elected, he'll get right to work to solve one of Geronimo's biggest problems.

"We need more people to move in. We've done well, several years ago the previous council managed to get City of Lawton water and wastewater. We've got the infrastructure there for quite a few new homes, we built a new school years ago which has helped," Setzer said.

Setzer said bringing in more people will allow them to also bring in more businesses, which will bring in more revenue to Geronimo.

Hodge is a landscaper in Geronimo and said he feels he has a better pulse of what the people in Geronimo actually want than his competitors.

"I've talked to people and it's just the same issues every year," Hodge said. "The roads, the lighting, it's dark here when you come in through town. The city needs to be cleaned up, our alleyways need to be cleaned up, we need to work on getting things for our kids. Kids don't have nothing here."

Hodge said he would like to see a youth center built in Geronimo for teenagers to have something to do on a Friday night.

Rice said when she moved to Geronimo, one of the first things she did was Google what there is to do there. She said very little information came up about the town, which is something she'd like to use her background in technology to change.

"The first thing I want to do is to help increase Geronimo's digital footprint, to do that by creating a dot-gov website," Rice said. "Also, taking some of the city pages and putting them into an actual city website so people like me who are moving to the town can figure out some of the awesome things that are going on."

Rice said having more of an online presence would allow people in the community to be more involved with everything happening in the town.

All three candidates stressed that if elected, they would like to see more businesses come into the town. They said the dollar general has been successful and they think more businesses could see similar successes and ultimately, bring in more revenue.

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