23-year-old wants to be next mayor of Jacksonville - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

23-year-old wants to be next mayor of Jacksonville

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JACKSONVILLE (KYTX) - A 23-year-old Jacksonville man wants to be mayor of his hometown.

William Igbokwe filed for office last Thursday. Igbokwe already has his official campaign sign ready to go, his slogan, "Connecting the citizenry, empowering the community."

On top of that, he's already taken his official campaign photo in front of the Tomato Bowl.

"I just want to be involved in public policy and make sure things are going the right way," said William Igbokwe. 

William graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a major in Political Communication in 2012.

He competed in speech and debate, becoming the two-time national champion in Persuasive Speaking.

Now, he wants to use those skills to unite the people of Jacksonville.

"A willingness to engage or attempt to engage every member of the community," said Igbokwe. 

William wants to encourage people in the community to become more familiar with their local government. 

He wants to plan not only for the short-term, but the future of Jacksonville.

"What I would like to do is make education a hallmark of Jacksonville, Texas," explained William. 

We went back with William to his old stomping grounds at Jacksonville High School where he graduated in 2008.

He said being involved in extra-curricular activities, such as UIL, theater and public speaking made him the man he is today.

"Here at Jacksonville, I participated in UIL, the speaking events, and I think it's helped me a lot. It help me transition into college well," added William. 

William thinks other students can benefit from those programs. He's asking for people in Jacksonville to support those programs as he tries to convince students to use their voice in politics.

"If there is someone that can get that message across to them, then eventually if they plan on staying in this community, they should also have a say on how this community is shaped for its long-term trajectory," said William.

A future William hopes to be a part of, if the people in the community stand behind him.

William will be running against 72-year-old incumbent Mayor Kenneth Melvin. The mayor tells us William actually lives down the street from him and welcomes him to the mayoral race.

William will also go against 44-year-old restaurant owner Rob Gowin in the May 11th election.

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