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Dudgeon files for mayor of Bloomfield

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By Randy Patrick

 

With less than a week left before the filing deadline, only one Bloomfield resident has offered himself as a candidate for mayor.

Councilman Christopher Michael Dudgeon, 34, filed his papers Monday at the Nelson County Clerk’s Office.

A newcomer to the community, Dudgeon has been on the council for less than a year. He was appointed last October to replace Jim Glisson when he stepped down after three years.

Dudgeon said he was encouraged to run by Mayor Rhonda Hagan, who chose not to run again after two terms as the city’s chief executive.

“Rhonda is a friend,” he said, and the two of them talked about it a few times. “She mentioned to me that she had been on the council for a year when she ran for mayor, and nobody else was running, so I threw my hat in there.”

He said he keeps his “ear to the ground,” and isn’t aware of any other prospective candidates for the position.

The filing deadline is 4 p.m. next Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Until two and a half years ago, Dudgeon and his wife, the former Ashley Holt, lived in Campbellsville, his old hometown. While they had their house on the market, they moved in with her parents, and now have their own home on Chaplin Road.

Just a few days ago, they had a baby girl, Saylor Blue.

Dudgeon said he has the time and energy to be the father of a newborn and husband, work full-time as an accountant and be the mayor.

“I’m a busy person. My wife is the same way. … We get stuff done. We don’t sit around,” he said.

The candidate graduated Campbellsville High in 2002, got a degree in finance from Campbellsville University 10 years later, and in between, did a stint in construction in Bowling Green. In 2005 he went to work in the business office of Jane Todd Crawford Hospital in Greensburg, where he is now senior accountant. He also works in the accounting office of the Casey County Hospital in Liberty.

Ashley was the admissions director for St. Catharine College until it closed recently, and now holds the same position at Midway University.

They were married when he was 29.

Before moving to Bloomfield, Dudgeon was familiar with the town because his wife’s family is there, and the couple has attended Bloomfield Baptist Church for seven years. But he still feels he’s getting acquainted with the people and their concerns. Bloomfield is a town of about 1,000, so he doesn’t see being a newcomer as a disadvantage.

“You could walk around for a week, and you would know everybody’s life story,” he said.

That’s a part of what makes it his kind of town.

“I love Bloomfield. I love the small-town atmosphere,” he said.

The town, which puts a big emphasis on historic preservation and restoration, will celebrate its bicentennial next February, he noted.

Dudgeon said word had spread that he was running for mayor even before he made it official. His wife told him days ago that if he didn’t file for mayor, “they’re going to write you in.”

The candidate said his extrovert nature, background in finance and good working relationship with other council members are among his qualifications.

The biggest issue facing Bloomfield at the moment, he said, is the need for a new AT&T cell tower, possibly on the city’s water tower. When he was doing this interview, he cut out several times and had to wait until he got home to call back on a landline.

“I’ve got some ideas for the city,” he said, mentioning that he wants the city to get more involved in supporting Bloomfield’s schools and public library and improving the city park.

“I’m still learning from the people, and I’m open to any suggestions anybody has for Bloomfield,” he said.