COLUMBIA- Director of the PedNet Coalition, Ian Thomas, announced Monday that he will run against Daryl Dudley for Fourth Ward City Council Representative in the April municipal election. Thomas has been living the Fourth Ward for 14 years.
"I have become interested in politics and interested in working with city government leaders," said Thomas. "I became attracted to the idea of being a part of a broader vision beyond transportation that helps make Columbia a better community for everybody, so that's why I took on this opportunity to run for city councilman of the Fourth Ward."
Thomas said Daryl Dudley has done a wonderful job with representing the Fourth Ward and has been open to all the ideas that his constitueints have bought forward. Dudley has been the Fourth Ward Councilman since 2010.
Dudley said he is not surprised that people are announcing their candidacy. He said he is glad Thomas decided to run against him.
"Ian will be a good person on the council," said Dudley. "He has some different goals in mind then I have but it is good to have some different ideas when you are on the campaign council."
Dudley said if reinstated he will continue to do what he has been doing for the last two years.
Thomas said he has a different vision for the Fourth Ward and Columbia's future.
Thomas said if elected he will continue to promote healthy living within Columbia, look at ways to improve the transportation system so everybody can get around Columbia as efficient as possible, and ensure everyone has access to employment.
In response, Dudley said if he re-elected "he will push for mor jobs in Columbia", also.
For the last 13 years Thomas has been working as the director of the PedNet Coalition. He announced in September that he was going to step down from PedNet's leadership role in the next six months. Thomas said his overall goal as director of PedNet is to create a healthy environment for Columbia and to establish an environment that gives a range of transportation options.
Thomas was born in London, England and moved to the United States in 1990. He was 28 years old at the time. He previously worked as a television producer of educational science programs.
Thomas has two children in the Columbia Public School system. Both of them attend Rock Bridge High School. Thomas's wife is a pediatrician who works at Tiger Pediatrics.