Political science professor plans run for mayor of city

Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson

SDSU professor Gary Aguiar, political science department, plans to run for either a city council position or for the mayor of Brookings.

Aguiar has yet to turn in his petition (signatures from 50 registered Brookings residents).

He has the forms and petitions ready to turn in, but is delaying an official announcement for now.

If nobody runs against Mayor Scott Munsterman, Aguiar plans to announce his candidacy for the position.

“Nobody should run unopposed,” he said.

If others announce their candidacy before Friday, Aguiar may end up running for a city council position instead.

Aguiar has been involved with the Brookings City Council since 2000, attending meetings and playing a role in the Lowe’s issue last fall.

This is the “next logical step,” he said.

He ran for one of two city council positions last year, but was defeated by 43 votes.

The possibility of running for mayor wasn’t in Aguiar’s plans, but after encouragement from friends and family, he’s giving it serious consideration.

“It’s a huge time committment,” he said.

Both positions are part-time, so Aguiar’s full-time SDSU teaching position shouldn’t be affected, he said.

Many of the issues that Aguiar would approach during his potential three-year term directly affect SDSU.

One thing he would like to do is commercially zone some spots around campus with hopes that gas stations and apartment buildings would move their businesses closer to campus.

One of the locations is between 12th and 14th avenues and Sixth and Eighth streets. The other is by the horse stables, across the street from the Animal Science Arena.

He would also like to address the Medary Avenue issue. He, like students themselves, crosses the street several times a day and believes something must be done to control the traffic flow.

After serving the past three years as the mayor of Brookings, Munsterman has already officially petitioned for the election.

He would like to continue his work on projects like pulling together an affordable housing plan and working on the airport and the drainage systems.

“I still feel a heartfelt desire to continue to serve,” said Munsterman. “I do feel the need to continue to shepherd those projects.”