WKU student Peay confident about upcoming mayoral election

Natalie Hayden

Brandon Peay doesn’t want to be the only WKU student involved in politics.

The Bowling Green sophomore, who said he believes he has the support of WKU students in Tuesday’s election, has big ideas to include students in city government if elected.

“All of my professors told their students I’m running and I got the strangest looks,” Peay said. “It gives me initiative to better myself even more.

“I think I’ve got a pretty good chance of winning.”

One thing Peay, who is running against  Commissioner Bruce Wilkerson and Mayor Joe Denning, said he wants to do if elected is better use social media in attracting tourism — and he wants students to help.

“Looking at social media marketing, we have many options available,” Peay said. “We even have students at Western who could create a website. It would be an opportunity for students to work in politics.”

Students would not only help their city, but they would help themselves as well, Peay said.

“[It would] make students use their knowledge and input to attract more businesses in the city. When businesses find out we have Western students managing the city’s website, the businesses will want the students,” he said.

Bowling Green junior Houston Hix, who has known Peay for 16 years, said although Peay doesn’t have much experience, he “wants to do right.”

“[Brandon] is a very eccentric person — very outgoing,” Hix said. “He’s willing to help anyone.”

Hix said that Peay started to express an interest in politics in 2004, right after graduating high school.

Peay said “why not?” when he saw the position of mayor was open and decided to run, although he is busy with school and work.

Peay missed three of the four mayoral forums this year, one because of work, one because of night class, and one because he drove his girlfriend, New Orleans sophomore Kristina Thames, to Nashville for an unexpected medical appointment.

“He could definitely balance everything,” Thames said. “He has a tremendous amount of energy and passion for what he does.”

Peay has been getting his name out by using social networking and meeting people in town.

“It’s the little things,” Peay said. “Just show people you’re a normal person trying to make ends meet, and people relate to that.”

Peay supports the smoking ban but does not support the revitalization of downtown Bowling Green because he said it is a great historical district and is good for the community and tourism.

However, he would like to widen Scottsville Road to three lanes each way to reduce traffic in the area.

The most important thing, though, is that the government listen to its constituents, Peay said.

“If I am elected mayor then I want everyone to know my door will always be open to anything you want to talk about or anything you have to say,” Peay said.

Thames said she believes Peay would be a great mayor.

“He is an extremely intelligent, passionate, full-of-energy man,” she said. “I’m excited and very proud of him. He’s got a lot of gumption to follow what he believes.”