The November 3, 2020 elections will bring many changes, both on national and local levels. After three terms, Farmerville Mayor, Stein Baughman, Jr. will not be seeking reelection. Five candidates successfully qualified to run for the open seat. Farmerville native, Bevelyn Warren Hunter is one of those five and the only female candidate.
Hunter grew up in Farmerville and has happy childhood memories. She fondly recalls making mudpies, playing dolls, riding bikes with her sister and playing ping pong with her father. She also recalls being an inquisitive child and loved to listen to her parents and other adults discuss issues and she was captivated by the wisdom of her elders. Her inquisitive and adventurous nature often led to finding treasures or knowledge that shaped her as a person.
Such was the case when Hunter found an old box of photographs that her father had taken on the battlefield during the Korean War. “I realized that day that freedom has a price and I developed a sense of respect for people whose sacrifices paved the way for me. I know that I stand on the shoulders of heroes,” Hunter said.
She was brought up in a home of faith, love and community. She graduated from Farmerville High School and went on to earn a Business Management Degree from Southern University and a Masters of Education with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Upon completion of her education, Hunter became a lifelong educator and also became a licensed realtor.
Hunter sees the potential for the city of Farmerville. “I know the needs of this town because I experience them every single day,” she said, “I have heard the praises and the complaints, I have seen the trials and the victories and I know with the right leadership we can take leaps towards prosperity.”
Hunter credits the city of Farmerville and its citizens with helping her to grow and succeed and she in turn wants to do the same for this great city. “Without the lessons learned in this town and the love and support of each and every person here, I would not be who I am today,” Hunter said, “Serving as mayor will allow me to give back and render my heart and service to the town that has given so much to me.”
Hunter feels her experience in the education and real estate fields have more than prepared her for any challenges she might face. She has worked as a manager of school partnerships, executive director of school programs and cultural and diversity facilitator. “I have had the opportunity to meet and work with state and local school officials, successful business leaders, senators, representatives, mayors, and most importantly citizens. In all of those interactions I strive to be an ambassador for Farmerville,” Hunter stated, “My life story is wrapped in the people of this town. I know their struggles and their hope for quality of life. I know the need to invest in our schools and teachers. I know that we need to bring economic opportunity and expand workforce development so that our brilliant and motivated youth choose to stay in our city and become
the leaders we need.” While Hunter is eager to point out the bright and wonderful things about Farmerville, she does realize that there are areas that do need improvement. She believes that investing in the education system will provide opportunities for growth and this includes the public-school system, vocational programs, and even industry-based certifications. Hunter would also like to focus on tourism. “We have some of the most beautiful land in the country right here. We are indeed a sportsman’s paradise and we need to promote that,” Hunter stated, “a new hotel will enhance our town’s appeal as a tourist attraction and will also create new jobs and increase our overall tax revenue.” Hunter would also like to see water quality and infrastructure improvement throughout the city.
Hunter wants the citizens of Farmerville to know that she wants to see the city grow. “Growth is more than expansion,” Hunter stated, “Growth is thriving, growth is flourishing.” Hunter feels she is the right person at the right time running for the right reasons. “Farmerville is an amazing place,” she said, “It is where I grew up. It is where I found my independence and my voice. It is where I learned that happiness is seeing your family at church on Sunday, pulling for the home team on Friday night, and seeing your city thrive. Farmerville means everything to me because it IS me.”