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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: After 40 years unopposed Dave Norris has competition in Mayor's race

WEST MONROE, La. - People around West Monroe are pretty familiar with Dave Norris.

"I'm Dave Norris and I'm the Choir Director at McGuire United Methodist Church," Norris said jokingly.

Well, maybe not from church.

"Well I'm here today because for the last 40 years I've had a really good job as the mayor of the city of West Monroe," Norris said. 

"I never anticipated staying this long," Norris said.

After announcing that this would be his last term because of a battle with his health, he's decided to give it one more shot.

"It's just been such an enjoyable job I feel like I've been able to make a contribution I'm still healthy I'm still motivated," Norris said.  

However, this time he's not the only one motivated.

Staci Albritton-Mitchell has been on the city council for nearly seven years and she believes her time is now.

"I get the opportunity to talk to a lot of people and those people began encouraging me to become mayor. That support has continued to grow even with Dave now saying he's going to seek another term 

Most West Monroe residents know it's been a while but exactly how long has it been since someone actually ran against mayor Dave Norris?

"1978 the first time I ran," Norris said.

Back then he was a professor at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Well at that time it's NLSC, North East Louisiana State College. 

Two teammates now opponents.

"I'm very proud to have served with Mayor Norris and be part of the success of West Monroe," Norris said.

"She's been a fine council member, she's a good person and I think she could do a very good job," Norris said. 

As a small business owner and former chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Mitchell plans to take business in West Monroe to the next level starting with housing.

"Our aging housing structures and what we need to do to address that to have more people live in the city which is going to lead to economic growth because businesses obviously want to be where the people are," Mitchell said.

 Now as we anticipate a showdown in the polls both candidates feel good about the future.

"Oh I'm excited yea excited i'm looking forward to it," Mitchell said.

"I feel like I can continue to do a good job we'll see how the voters feel about it and I'll be satisfied with the result," 

West Monroe residents who want their names on the list must sign up by Friday January 5, 2018 at the Ouachita Parish Clerk's office.

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