DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - With the DeRidder Mayor's race nearing the finish line, the two candidates, Misty Clanton and Mike Harper, have similar goals for the historic Southwest Louisiana city.
7News sat down with both candidates to get a better understanding of their visions and it all comes down to one thing.
Both Misty Clanton and Mike Harper want to see DeRidder grow to its full potential.
With the race for mayor concluding this Saturday, both candidates have made it clear that bringing jobs to their city is a top priority.
"I really want to take a more in-depth focus on creating some jobs, bringing new business, new industry, and focusing on some things for our youth," said Clanton
Harper said the same. "We haven't succeeded in those next level jobs that lead to homeownership, you know, being able to have your family here, and the quality of life that you're looking for. That's what we need to work on the most. The revenue stream will take care of itself."
Clanton feels like she knows how to help create those jobs.
"We've got to sell our community. I believe I'm positioned to be that person, to be that face to sell our story, to sell our people," she said "We have a loyal workforce. We've just got to get there and tell those businesses what a great place it is to be in DeRidder, Louisiana."
And both Clanton and Harper believe that getting businesses here will help our youth in the long run.
"I see all too often, a lot of teenagers, they grow up, they turn eighteen, and they find that we've done nothing to prepare for their future," said Harper "They don't find opportunity here. If they go away to college, come back with a degree, they still find no opportunity here."
Harper and Clanton don't want that to happen to their children.
"I've got to make sure that we build a city that my son wants to come back to. I've got to make sure that we create jobs that my son is going to have an opportunity to come back to, but not just for my children, but for all children," said Clanton "I've got to make sure that our children are safe here, that they enjoy living here, that they're proud to tell people that they're from a great city called DeRidder, Louisiana. I believe that I have the ability to do that, and I'm ready to lead our city into the future."
"That's the whole purpose of this life, is our children. We pour everything that we have into a child, but when they become an adult if we lose them, we lose everything that we put into them," Harper says "Someone else will gain a really great neighbor, a really great co-worker, but we actually lose. I would like to make it so they could be successful here."
Three of the main things that Harper and Clanton say they will keep at the top of their lists are jobs, quality of life, and family.