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Dennis Ball announces run for Marion mayor

Dennis Ball greeted press Wednesday afternoon at Mackie's in Marion. 

MARION — A new candidate has emerged for mayor of Marion. Dennis Ball announced his candidacy for mayor in 2019 on Wednesday afternoon at Mackie’s Pizza.

Ball, who has made several unsuccessful runs for president, decided to run for mayor because he believes he can help bring well-paying jobs to the community.

“The people are saying they need more money. They are having problems paying their bills,” Ball said.

Ball plans to host an economic summit on his first day as mayor. He wants to get all parties in a room, including the governor, to start the conversation about bringing jobs to the area and growing the economy.

“The City Council’s lack of action has opened doors for new ideas,” Ball said.

Ball believes resources in Southern Illinois are underutilized, such as training available at John A. Logan College, Southeastern Illinois College and SIU. The other economic component that needs to be fixed is at the state level. He added that the debt structure, revenue streams and taxes all need to be reformed.

He has a few specific ideas for the city.

First, he believes every child who wants a bicycle should have one. He plans to host a community family day once a month to give residents the opportunity to hear from the city and have some fun. He pledged to read to children once a month at Marion Carnegie Library.

Ball describes himself as a “radical centrist.” He founded the American Party of America, and last ran for president in 2016. Ball also has written eight books, including “The Ball Doctrine” and “All Serve to Serve!”

His grandfather was Oscar Greathouse, and he says is a related to George Washington, through Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington.

Ball describes himself as very traditional.

“I’m a mom, dad and kids kind of family guy. Gays can come into the party if they support that family structure,” Ball said.

He said his platform will be in the best interest of the family.

Ball was joined by supporters Richard Hagan and Richard Sanders.

Hagan likes candidates who can focus on multiple issues. “We need a centrist element. We need something that forces people to converse on issues and debate issues,” Hagan said.

Sanders said he supports the family and constitution, so Ball is a good fit for him.

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Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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