This November will mark the first time a female will be elected mayor of the City of Whitesville. In fact, it will mark the first time a female will serve as mayor in all of Daviess County’s history.
Even more, there are two women running for mayor in Whitesville–no men are seeking election this year. Greg Beyke, who currently serves as the mayor of Whitesville, will be retiring after one term.
The city of 537 people sits on the eastern edge of Daviess County where Patsy Mayfield and Jennifer Wedding Hardesty are each hoping to win the seat — making history while they’re at it.
“People started looking at me and asking me to run because of my experience,” Mayfield said. “I thought about it, and I decided to go for it.”
Mayfield has served as a Whitesville city commissioner for the last 20 years. The Whitesville native has also been a volunteer firefighter for the Whitesville Fire Department for 20 years and is currently a lieutenant.
“I was the first female on the Whitesville Fire Department. All the guys just accepted me,” she said. “They said they needed a female there.”
Jennifer Wedding Hardesty, however, doesn’t feel that she’s a politician.
“Maybe what this town needs is someone who’s not a politician,” she said. “I want to help bring revenue into this community to help offset our budget.”
Hardesty currently works as a full-time bus monitor at the Ohio County bus garage. In the past, she’s worked five years as a maintenance worker at Whitesville Trinity High School and 10 years as the parks director for the City of Whitesville.
“I loved that job,” said Hardesty. “I loved the people I got to meet.”
Hardesty was in charge of renting out the shelters at Whitesville Community Park for birthdays, reunions, events and tournaments.
Mayfield is a supporter of her close-knit community and, if elected mayor, has some pretty big plans and ideas she’d like to implement in Whitesville.
“I’ve got a lot of plans,” Mayfield said. “I’d like to see Whitesville grow. I want to work on getting grants to help the community. I’d like to re-do the sidewalks here. We’re having an event at the [Whitesville Community] Park on Friday–our first family movie night. And, of course, I’m going to continue doing the annual fireworks show at the park. That’s been a great event for everybody.”
Hardesty also has big plans for the park, which she feels gets used too sparingly.
“Since we got the park, it never gets used, except once a year,” she says. “I want to bring the farmer’s market here. I want to bring car shows back. All the businesses around Whitesville would get more revenue. I’ve been working for over a year now on bringing an amateur band night to the park.”
While Mayfield is excited to be one of the two first female candidates for Whitesville mayor, making history isn’t the focal point of her campaign. In the end, Mayfield wants to better Whitesville by keeping true to her beliefs, values and experience as a city commissioner.
“The community coming together as a family is important to me,” Mayfield said. “I like everything I do for the community.”
Hardesty hopes to effect what she believes is much-needed change in Whitesville.
“We need to think outside of the box here in Whitesville,” said Hardesty. “Whether I win or lose, I want people to be involved in the community. I want people to come and talk to me about their issues.”
Hardesty says she is hosting a meet-and-greet on October 20 at 12 p.m., at the Whitesville Senior Citizens building.
Mayfield says commission meetings are open to anyone, and she is always open to hearing suggestions at the meetings. The next city commission meeting is September 4.