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23-year-old runs for Common Council

CHAT: Huntington Common Council hopeful Patrick “P.J.” Felton talks with a voter after giving a speech this month at Legends, a bar Felton has been running for two years. Felton also owns P.J.’s Paesan’s Pizza, which he’s been running for six years now.

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

A 23-year-old Huntington native is hoping to get the younger generation involved in the future of Huntington as he seeks one of the two at-large Common Council seats open this year.

Patrick “P.J.” Felton is one of four candidates on the Republican Party ballot, and since there aren’t any Democrats running for the at-large seats, the Primary Election on May 7 could possibly decide the race, unless a Democratic Party challenger files before the General Election.

Felton said he feels like too many of the current members of Common Council agree unanimously with one another, so he wants to bring new ideas to the table.

“You gotta get rid of the yes men,” Felton said at a campaign event held at Legends Bar, which he’s owned for four years now. “The yes man in office, he’s just constantly agreeing with the mayor. Sometimes you’ve got to put your foot down, give your two cents. I think that’s going to be me.”

Huntington County Commissioner and mayoral candidate Larry Buzzard endorsed Felton at the town hall.

“I’ve talked with PJ several times, he’s a great guy, and I’m really excited to see some young guys get involved … It’s good to have people like PJ step up,” Buzzard said.

Felton said even if Buzzard is elected, he probably wouldn’t agree on everything with Buzzard, since he’s promising to be a free thinker.

Buzzard began his political career the same year Felton was born in 1995.

“I may be one of the youngest in Huntington County who’s ran for a political office, but I believe that it’s time for a change,” he said.

Felton has been the owner of PJ’s Paesan’s Pizza for six years, and he said his combined experience of being a small-business owner for eight years gives him the ability to “help Huntington get back to where it was before.”

Felton said he disagrees with current Mayor Brooks Fetters choice to invest in bike trails instead of what he considers necessities.

“The bike trails, yes they are nice. They look nice, but I agree with Larry. There were other things that needed to be fixed first. A lot of other things,” Felton said. “If you drive around Huntington, the streets are awful. Tipton Street, it’s a main street in Huntington. I live on it. It’s awful. We’ve got potholes everywhere you go.”

He said he would also like to see the city take more jobs on themselves instead of outsourcing work to contractors. He said he thinks it would save the city money and keep money local, which would bolster the local economy.