MANKATO, MINN - Candidates for Mankato mayor met at MSU to promote their ideas for the city.

With current Mankato mayor Eric Anderson not seeking re–election, the seat is up for grabs.

Najwa Massad, Bukata Hayes, Honey Burg and Toby Leonard were present at tonight's mayoral forum.

Each of them had an opportunity to share with a packed room of voters what they believe is the highest priority issue facing Mankato.
"Our biggest challenge that I see is water and having availability and be able to treatment and discharge them because that is what we base a lot of our economy on," said Leonard. "We are an agricultural-based economy, we actually in the various processing areas around here process the most soybeans anywhere in the world."
Burg says her focus is creating and maintaining affordable housing in the city.
"I think that we're going to see our aging population that's going to need a different type of housing that we possibly currently offer," said Burg. "We have a lot of students that need affordable housing and we need to continue to  make sure that offer that locally."
Hayes and Massad see homegrown talent retainment as an avenue towards continued growth.
"We may not have the jobs but we also I think sometimes worry too much about economically these things instead of socially how we see each other," said Hayes. "And how does that provide us a firm base to grow more responsibly as a community, businesses, neighborhoods and all those things that make our life great."

"You see a lot of signs saying 'hiring' and so forth, as a business owner and as a community there needs to be a balance," said Massad. "We need to retain that talent yet at the same time we have to have the businesses for the talent to stay."
August 14th's primary will determine the final two candidates to go onto the general election in November.

----KEYC News 12