Sam King

Crawfordsville resident Sandy Dawson has pondered running for mayor for the last year,On Wednesday, the 64-year old grandmother living on widow's pension officially threw her name in the hat. Not understanding why women haven't made the bid for the city's highest office in the past, Dawson said she isn't afraid to put up her dukes and rumble with the heavyweights. She wasn't joking."I think a woman could do a good job as mayor," she said. And she has a couple of reasons why she is the woman for the job.Crawfordsville doesn't need parking meters, she says. She also wants the city to provide a place for children to hang out and she still has no idea what the whole focus on the Commerce Park is all about."Look at Greencastle and Lebanon, they don't have them," she said about parking meters, citing two nearby cities. Dawson will run on the Republican ticket, opposing Steve Frees in the May primary. She's not a Republican, per se, but chose to sign up as a Republican candidate at random."That's just what I chose," she explained. Uninformed and uneducated on the ins and outs of politics, Dawson hopes to adapt quickly to running for office. She has yet to plan a campaign and has not even voted in the last decade. In fact, the closest she's come to being a politician before Wednesday was in the late '80s when her daughter, 1989 Crawfordsville High School graduate Mary Dawson, worked for then-mayor Phillip Michael. "I haven't the slightest clue how to be mayor, but I can learn," she said. "It's going to be an experience for me, but I'm ready for it."She already has experience with people, something she believes will aid her in earning votes. She was a caregiver for five years and has worked in a nursing home. She's also worked with her son, Don, at Dawson's Produce Market south of the National Guard Armory. The Waterford Apartments resident spends her free time metal detecting and walking, rarely turns on the television and she loves country music. But her most attractive quality may be that she's a people person."As far as being mayor, I love people and that's a plus for me, I think," the blonde-haired homemaker said. Comfortably at ease with not being wealthy, Dawson knows she isn't the only person in need of saving cash. For that reason, she considers being mayor and plotting somewhere for children to hang out, citing somewhere like Pangea's Pizzeria, a former restaurant on South Green Street. Having more than 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Dawson is pro beautifying the city by keeping kids from vandalism, singling out the fountain at Marie Canine Plaza at the intersection of Green and Main Streets. In order to do that, she said children need a place similar to Pangea's because there is a lack of activities for younger children. On the parking meter subject and in relation to beautifying the city, Dawson believes the parking meters contributed to the failure of downtown businesses. No one wants to pay the parking meter, but are forced to if they want to go downtown or suffer a heftier parking ticket fine, she said. "They (city officials) want to do all these things for downtown, but everybody's (the businesses) moving," she said. "And the thing about whatever the Commerce Park is, it needs to go."Then there's the final month of the year - December. Other nearby cities dazzle up downtown with a spectacle of multi-colored lights. Locals travel through downtown for the scenery. Crawfordsville is missing that, Dawson said."As far as Christmas decorating, I thought they (the decorations) stunk," she said. "They never changed the light bulbs. There's nothing attractive about the Christmas decorations."When the primary elections come around in May, Dawson already has a leg up on her competitor and an early confidence boost."I've already been told a lot of people are going to vote for me," she said.

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