Whitiker announces candidacy for Pine Bluff mayor

Julian Whitiker Jr. has announced his intentions to file as a candidate for mayor of Pine Bluff.

The 24-year-old independent stockbroker said Wednesday that he has resided in Pine Bluff for seven years. A native of Flint, Mich., he attended high school in Pine Bluff and Star City.

“I feel Pine Bluff is the untapped ‘City of Opportunity,” he said. “Together, we have a chance to influence a new direction for Pine Bluff, but not without remembering what makes a small town great, which is small businesses and the love for your neighbor.”

Whitiker said he believes his best attributes as a mayor would be his problem-solving ability and skills in conducting business, especially financial matters. He said he feels he’s the best candidate for mayor because he’s a “concerned citizen” as well as a youthful “representative” for “the future.”

A son of Julian Whitiker Sr. and Pauline Whitiker, he said that if elected, he would work closely with the state and federal governments in establishing programs supporting business investments within the downtown area. The programs would include tax incentives for businesses creating new jobs.

Whitiker said he has other goals as well, including reinstating John Howell as chief of police. But he hasn’t yet discussed the matter with Howell, he said.

Whitiker said he would also hire an economic developer to “bring jobs and attract businesses” to the city.

The election for mayor and other municipal offices will be held Nov. 6. Mayoral candidates who have filed include Kent Broughton, Peter Daniels Jr., Clarence Davis, Debe Hollingsworth, John James Jr., Steven Mays, Thelma Walker and Tim Whisenhunt. Current Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. has not yet announced if he will seek re-election.