Fayetteville’s Jeff Bradford, a veteran law enforcement officer, has announced his candidacy for the office of city mayor in the Nov. 6 election.
Born and raised in Fayetteville, Bradford attended Fayetteville City Schools and then Lincoln County High School, from which he graduated in 1984. He went on to work for the Fayetteville Water Department and then the Fayetteville Police Department before joining the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.
With 30 years’ experience in law enforcement, he currently serves as lieutenant in charge of patrols for the sheriff’s department, overseeing 50 uniformed full- and part-time officers. He also serves as commander of the department’s SWAT team and Honor Guard.
“This is a pivotal election for the City of Fayetteville,” Bradford said. “The city is in a position to really go forward, but there has been a great deal of animosity on the board. I believe my experience with people and in mitigating situations will help to bring our city together ... No, I don’t have all the answers, but with a team approach, we’ll find the best solutions and accomplish a great deal together.”
Bradford is married to Tanya Taylor Bradford, who was also born and raised here. She works as a registered nurse in charge of the emergency room and intensive care unit at Lincoln Medical Center. They have a blended family of seven children, four of whom serve in the military.
He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Andrew Jackson Masonic Lodge here.
Bradford is also the son of Harold and Peggy Bradford. His father served for 30 years with the Fayetteville Police Department and for more than 10 years as a Fayetteville city alderman.
“I love Fayetteville,” Bradford said. “I’ve had opportunities to go to other places and work, but I’ve always chosen to stay here and help the people in my community. And even though I work for the sheriff’s department, I keep up with the city.
“We have a lot of positives going for us, yet there are many things that we can improve on,” he continued. “I’m glad to see the Young Professionals’ organization that’s been formed here and our merchants working together – I think we can build on these efforts and come together to find more ways to get citizens involved.
“One of the things I’ve realized as I’ve campaigned is that a lot of people don’t feel like the City Board is approachable. I want to change that, and I want to repair relationships, from those on the county level on up to the state level.”
Bradford said he would like to see the city continue its focus on revitalization efforts and on drawing more business and industry into its fold, thereby increasing its tax base.
“We must be good stewards of our tax money,” he said. “We need to project our expenditures as well as our income in coming years. Grants are nice, but they also require local matches – we must make sure that when we commit to something, we’ve got the money to do it. And, as we take money out of our capital fund, we’ve got to make sure that we put it back.
“The people have the power in this election to bring about change,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about the people that we serve and what they want in a mayor. Yes, my job is demanding, but I promise that if I’m elected, I’ll do the best that I can. I believe that together we can make the people proud of their city government.”