James Dean is running for New Albany mayor as a Democrat.
Dean, who grew up in New Albany, attended W.P. Daniel High School. He left high school to join the U.S. Army and received his GED while he was in the military.
Dean served in the U.S. Army for two and a half years and served a year in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army and was the recipient of two Bronze Stars for meritorious service.
He also graduated with a degree in electronics from the DeVry Institute of Technology.
Currently, Dean is retired, but previously he worked for five years at Futorian Furniture Manufacturing. He also worked for AT&T for 26 years as a lineman, installer and repair technician.
In addition, Dean worked at the Walmart Distribution Center for five years and for Flexible Foam in Baldwyn for five years.
He is the minister of music at the Holy Temple Church of God.
Dean said he wants to run for mayor because, “I think I can make some changes. I believe the local, state and federal government have been taken out of the hands of the people.”
Dean said he wants to return the government in New Albany to the people.
“The people don’t have a voice,” he said. “That’s one of my biggest issues.”
The city needs to be able to give an answer as quickly as possible when people bring up issues, he said.
“I want to be able to accomplish something rather than just being a man of words,” Dean said.
He said he wants to get input from the public about what things need to be changed rather than the mayor and aldermen just deciding for themselves.
“I think the people need to have a voice in it,” Dean said. “I want to be able to communicate with the citizens of New Albany. That way I believe we can change things according to what the people want. Rather than things just being changed by the few, lets change things by the many.”
Dean said he believes that the government is “out of touch with the people.”
He said he has run into some situations where he needed something done, and it has just been “ignored.”
“I want to reconnect our government with the citizens of New Albany,” Dean said, adding that his slogan is a “man for the people.”
He said he wants to have an “open door policy” in which people can walk in at least once a week without an appointment to discuss issues and concerns.
“I want to be a mayor that can put things into action,” said Dean. “We need to move instead of just talking about what we’re going to do. I think that I can make a difference.”
Dean also wants to see small businesses in New Albany prosper. He said he has talked to some small businesses in the area that feel as though they have been “neglected” by the city government.
If more small businesses come to the city, that will mean more jobs, he noted. Having more businesses here could also help draw people to the city to shop, he said. He said there are many types of stores that are lacking in New Albany currently.
Dean is also a member of Concerned Veterans of Union County Past, Present and Future.