Huntington Common Council 3rd District race has 4 hopefuls

Candidates for the Huntington Common Council 3rd District are (from left) Eric Bruce, Tony Hiles, Jerry Meehan Jr. and Richard Mills.
Candidates for the Huntington Common Council 3rd District are (from left) Eric Bruce, Tony Hiles, Jerry Meehan Jr. and Richard Mills.

Four candidates are running to become the next 3rd District representative on the Huntington Common Council.

The 3rd District is the easternmost district in Huntington. It contains locations such as Hier’s Park and the Huntington County Fairgrounds.

The candidates are Eric Bruce, independent; Tony Hiles, independent; Jerry Meehan Jr., Republican; and Richard Douglas Mills, Democrat.

The early voting period is underway. For a list of locations that offer early voting, visit the Elections page on www.huntington.
Election Day is Nov. 5.

Eric Bruce
Bruce, 43, is an engineer at UTEC, in Huntington. He serves as the scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 130, in Huntington. He also serves as vice president for the Huntington Area Recreational Trails Association and as a board member for the Huntington County Historical Society and Karing for Kids.

A lifelong Huntington resident, Bruce says he’s running for a council seat to make an impact on the community.

“I believe Huntington needs good citizens to step up and be a part of and understand local government,” he says. “Huntington has a lot of great things happening and I want to continue that success.”

If elected, Bruce says he would be committed to passing responsible, sensible budgets that adhere to the city’s needs. He says he would also engage with citizens, listen to their concerns and follow through with results.

Additionally, Bruce states that he would encourage citizens to volunteer their time. He says volunteering with the aforementioned groups that he is affiliated with has been rewarding.

“We can all make a difference if we get involved,” he says. “This is why volunteering is such a big deal to me. From helping families in need, to helping with a 5K race, or cleaning out a river, we can make a difference in the lives around us a little at a time.”

Tony Hiles
Hiles, 54, runs a construction business.

He says he is seeking a seat on the council to be a conservative presence.

“I believe in the principles of fiscal conservatism … a limited government with less government intrusion into our lives and an honest government that is held accountable to the taxpayers,” he says.

Hiles adds that he believes taxpayers deserve to be treated better by the city.

“The citizens and taxpayers in our community keep giving,” he says, “and I believe it is time for our city to start taking care of the people and families that live in this community.”

If elected, Hiles states that his priorities would be paying down the city’s debt, stopping wasteful spending and lowering the city utilities bill.

“I hear people say all politicians are crooked,” remarks Hiles. “Well, stop voting for politicians and start voting for honest people.”

Jerry Meehan Jr.
Meehan, 57, is a Huntington County government employee. He is a graduate of Huntington North High School and earned an associate’s in electronic engineering technology.

Meehan states that he is running for a council seat to strike a balance between providing for Huntington’s needs while not putting a financial burden on residents. He says that his experience working for the county has prepared him for that task.

“Our office prepares and maintains an annual budget and is in charge of the responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars,” he explains. “In my role, I have also attended multiple years of statewide continuing education classes, including budgeting.”

If elected, Meehan says he would focus on lowering the city’s debt, while still providing vital services such as police and fire protection and infrastructure maintenance. Another priority would be working to bring a grocery store to the 3rd District, which lost Owen’s South earlier this year.

Also, Meehan says he would strive to bring more professional opportunities to Huntington. He shares that both of his sons elected to move out of town because there were more opportunities elsewhere.

“They are my motivation to attract more options for the residents of the 3rd District and of Huntington,” he says.

Richard Douglas Mills
Mills, 32, says he is running for a council seat to be an advocate for Huntington’s south side.

“We have already lost a grocery store that many families and Seniors depended on,” he says. “I want to see more attention put on growing the south end of town and see improvements that will better the lives of Huntington’s families down here on the south side.”

If elected, Mills says he would endeavor to show potential business owners that Huntington’s south side is a worthy location to set up shop.
“We have two vacant grocery stores and a gas station along with many other buildings that would make great businesses,” he states.

Additionally, Mills notes that he would like to explore opening up Lake Clare for swimming or building a public pool.

Mills is optimistic about Huntington’s future and says he wants the opportunity to help steer it in a positive direction.

“I believe that together we can make Huntington greater than it already is,” he says. “And with hard work and a helping hand from our neighbors, we can.”