Candidates vie to be Grants Pass mayor

Grants Pass voters will have a choice for mayor in the November election.

City Councilor Darin Fowler says he is going to file for the mayor's seat.

Bill Turrell has also filed for the position. Incumbent Mayor Mike Murphy announced last week he will not seek re-election.

Fowler said if Murphy were running again he would not seek the office. He said he has been seriously thinking about running since Murphy's announcement, but he wanted to check with his family before making a decision.

He also said several councilors have encouraged him to run for mayor, but he did not identify them.

"It's exciting to me to be able to serve at that level," Fowler said. "I really like the direction our representative government and city staff are headed."

Fowler also said he believes he has "the ability to listen well to any idea and make sure that ideas are treated well and with respect," which he considers to be important skills for the mayor.

Fowler represents Ward 4, which covers southwest Grants Pass. He was elected in a special election in March 2010 to fill a vacancy resulting from a recall that ousted five councilors. He was re-elected in November 2010, when he ran unopposed.

His term on the council ends Dec. 31, 2014. If he is elected mayor, he would resign from the council, and the council would appoint his replacement. Fowler can remain on the council in the interim, and he will retain his council seat if he loses the election.

Turrell is retired from a career in the Air Force and was a police officer in Fairfield, Calif., for 10 years, according to his application. He is seeking his first elected position. Turrell applied for a council vacancy last year after Don Reedy resigned to accept an appointment as a county commissioner. But the council appointed Dennis Webber.

— Grants Pass Daily Courier

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