GOP at-large council candidates seeking cooperation with administration

Nov. 2—Editor's note: This article is the latest in a series previewing Tuesday's election. Find previously published articles at

ANDERSON — Three Republican challengers are hoping to break the Democratic Party's lock on Anderson City Council at-large seats.

Incumbent Democrat Ty Bibbs is seeking a fourth term and Rebecca Crumes is hoping to be selected to a third term in Tuesday's municipal election.

The third Democratic candidate, Meredith "Coco" Armstrong, lost a bid for an at-large nomination in 2019 but reached the general election this year.

Republicans Rachel Landers and Tiffany Harless are running for elective office for the first time. Mark Turner, the third Republican on the ballot, is making a second bid for an at-large seat. Turner lost in the 2015 primary.

The Republicans have not captured all three at-large seats on Anderson City Council since the 1979 election, when Thomas McMahan was elected as Anderson mayor.

Since she was first elected, Crumes has stressed transparency in city government. She's also been critical Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr., also a Democrat, for waiting until this year to update the city's comprehensive plan.

Bibbs wants the city to attract new residents and retain current population. He also wants to increase employment opportunities for local residents and to see the city's tax base increase.

Armstrong is advocating educational programs to make Anderson residents qualified for new employment opportunities. She also wants to see programs developed for senior citizens and young people.

Landers wants to work with the administration to upgrade the city's water utility and power grid over the next four years. She stresses the importance of addressing drug abuse and homelessness in Anderson.

Landers also wants more activities for city residents and the creation of a mentoring program for young people to develop workplace skills.

Harless wants to address the city's aging infrastructure, create more affordable housing and find solutions for the homeless population.

Turner said he is nearing retirement age and would have more time than others to devote to serving on council.

"I want to bring some pride back to Anderson, put some common sense on the council," he said. "The council has to work with the administration."

Turner said he would strive to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars, would be available to all city residents and would treat everyone with respect.

He said the city needs to invest in infrastructure upgrades and spend money on repairs and replacement, particularly in the water department.

"I want to see Anderson move forward," Turner said, noting the importance of residential growth and studying other communities' solutions to homelessness.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.