Candidates for Struthers mayoral race announce early
Mayor Terry Stocker has yet to say if he will seek re-election
By Graig Graziosi
Though the Struthers mayoral election is more than a year away, a pair of candidates has already emerged and announced intentions to win the seat currently held by Mayor Terry Stocker.
Catherine Cercone Miller, the secretary of the city’s law department and the president of the Struthers Rotary Community Corps; and Dallas Bigley, councilman-at-large and the owner of both Bigley Landscape Property Management as well as State Street Billiards and Bowling; will run for mayor.
Mayor Terry Stocker, who has served as mayor for the last decade, has yet to comment on whether he’ll run for re-election.
Bigley made his intentions known during the city’s Fourth of July parade, where he displayed banners reading “Bigley for Mayor.”
“I think it’ll be a tough election, so I wanted to get a head start,” Bigley said. “I didn’t want to let an opportunity like the parade go by, so I chose to announce then. I made up my mind about running and once I’ve made up my mind, I go full steam ahead.”
Cercone Miller, who has worked in the city’s law office for the past four years, said she decided to run for mayor a long time ago.
“I’ve always been a leader, and I want to make sure that the city goes in the right direction,” Cercone Miller said.
In addition to her work in the law office and at the Rotary, she has also been the chairwoman of the Hope Foundation for the past three years, has worked with the Struthers School Foundation and helps organize the city’s Fourth of July parade.
Both Cercone Miller and Bigley said that bringing more businesses into the city, revitalizing the downtown corridor and improving morale at city hall are among their top priorities if they were to be elected.
Bigley hopes to successfully increase business interest in the city and raise residents’ property values as a result. He believes his time on council has given him important insight needed to run the city.
“I’m down here 30 hours a week, learning how everyone does their jobs and spending time with the mayor to learn how the budget works,” he said. “I think there’s some places where we can improve.”
Cercone Miller, who has worked as a grant writer in Hermitage, Pa., for five years, said she recently helped prepare grants that got a medicine disposal drop-box from CVS installed at city hall and earned the Struthers Municipal Court $30,000. She wants to improve the city’s grant-writing efforts to help secure more money for city projects.
“Downtown needs completely revitalized, it’s is one of my biggest areas of focus,” Cercone Miller said. “We have people like Selah and Donavito’s who will be there forever, and we need to help their businesses out. It’s not just downtown, but at the Fifth Street Plaza as well.”
Cercone Miller is a 2001 graduate of Struthers High School and has two degrees from Capitol University, one in psychology and one in art therapy.
Both Cercone Miller and Bigley are parents and said they respected each other and intend to run clean campaigns.