JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)– After current Jackson Mayor Derek Dobbies announced he would not seek reelection, the race for the job was wide open. Now, when voters hit the polls in November, they’ll decide between Daniel Mahoney and John Wilson

What started as a field of four candidates in now down to two, with both Jeromy Alexander and Laura Dwyer Schlecte failing to out pick up more votes than their opponents.

For Daniel Mahoney, public office is not something new to him. The county commissioner was born and raised in the City of Jackson and is married to his wife Semaj Mahoney with five children. He says part of the reason why he’s running is to make the community a better place for his girls.

Mahoney’s top priorities are public safety; neighborhood revitalization, extending economic development work in The City of Jackson’s downtown and fixing the roads. Mahoney has become a prominent figure in society with his numerous roles in the community. 

“There are 20 boards that I could list that I’ve been involved in,” Mahoney said. “I think mental health is a very important and much-needed space for people who can properly advocate for those… I’m also currently on the Michigan works consortium board, I’m the vice-chair of that board.”

Mahoney says as county commissioner he has learned how policy is impacted by listening to conversations, and what the community needs.

John Wilson is a long-time resident of the city.

The retired corrections officer graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1995.

“I am born and raised here in the city of Jackson. I attended and graduated from Lumen Christi high school, Jackson community college, now Jackson College and Western Michigan University. I worked and retired from the Michigan Department of corrections with 28 years in service and I now work part-time as a bartender at the JacksonShamrock Bar ” he said.

The 62-year-old candidate is no stranger to the campaign trail. He has run for multiple positions in local government before. This will be his third attempt at mayor.

“I involved myself with local government for the last 20 years. I run for local office, city council, county commission and mayor. I ran as a write-in for mayor in 2013 and I was on the ballot for mayor in 2015.”

His campaign is focused around addressing crime, water rates and improving roads.