Local elections are less than a month away and one candidate is coming forward about his past arrests.
Demetrius Beachum, is running for mayor of Marlin.
Between 1998 and 2013 police arrested Beachum for offenses including unpaid traffic tickets and fraud by check. A past he said, he's not hiding,
"Before I signed up for the mayor I knew I had some tickets before I knew I went to jail before that didn't deter me even my church knows that," said Beachum.
Beachum believes his past doesn't exclude him from the race for mayor or holding the position. When asked if he would run for someone with his record he didn't hesitate answering yes.
"If a person who is running for office who has had a ticket, who has had a check that bounced or mismanaged funds and was running for office and that person had taken care of that responsibility sure I'd vote for them."
Beachum said he is open about his past. He said he spoke briefly about his run-ins at a mayoral forum held earlier in April and speaks candidly about it at his church. He said he hopes that by telling the truth about his past it will inspire other people.
"I can relate to every person in Marlin who has had a ticket and so I believe that it's important that the community can see someone that's in a public office that can relate to them and build that and say you're alright and you can make it. You can pay this ticket off just like I paid mine."
News Channel 25 asked several voters in Marlin whether they felt it was appropriate for someone with Beachum's past to run for mayor. Whether supporting Beachum or not many people felt that his past is irrelevant. Resident Broedwick Moore felt that any person could move on from their past.
"I think that everyone has a past. You should judge candidates by their qualifications. If the past is something that going to disqualify you then I mean you should know this coming into the election," Moore said.
Many of the voters in Marlin said they are more focused on the city's future and how they will help the city. Cheffon Massey said, she wants the next leader to address many of the longstanding issues.
"I would like the mayor to work with the community and talk to the people who live in the community," Massey said.
Beachum understands that there are people who may be weary about voting for him or working with him because of his past. He invites those people to have a conversation with him.
“I’m asking the residents of Marlin know who I am. Get to know that I am a fighter, that’s what’s got me to this point. I’m a fighter. The town's going down, they need a fighter.”
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