Experience as a real estate agent and mortgage broker is helping a Kentucky man develop a competitive platform in his race for mayor of Russellville.
Marrickous "Joe" Ray, 35, told MortgageDaily.com that he has been investing in real estate since he was 18 years old. It is this reason along with an understanding of real estate sales and finance that he said he is suited to fill the mayor's shoes.
His ideas can bring economic development to the small community of 8,000 (23,000 in the county) in which he lives, he said.
"We have watched every other town around us grow, but us," he said. "If we do partnerships for affordable housing it will create jobs for local contractors and put people back to work to stimulate our economy in Russellville."
He explained that the city could invest in some of the dilapidated homes in the community, fix them up using local workers and then sell them at an affordable price to its citizens while increasing tax revenue.
Empowering citizens with homeownership "could change lives for generations to come," he said.
After two years as assistant net branch manager for First Choice Funding and licensed mortgage broker for the state of Kentucky, Ray said he is temporarily putting his mortgage career on hold.
A single father of two young daughters and owner/manager of a $1.3 million apartment complex, Ray said he needed to find time to focus on his campaign that he hopes will end in victory.
"Evidently I must have a good chance because they came out and attacked," Ray said of his competition. "They fight dirty, but I won't fight dirty back. If they have to fight dirty it means they are losing."
Last June, a Logan County Grand Jury indicted Ray for what stemmed from an $1800 unpaid water bill at his apartment complex, he said. Another political move on behalf of his opposition, Ray said, and added that the indictment has since been dropped.
County officials did not return requests for comment from MortgageDaily.com.