ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – On this weeks edition of Big Country Politics, News Director Manny Diaz sat down with Ryan Goodwin, who is running for the Mayor of Abilene in the upcoming election to discuss his experiences with city council and his campaign.

Goodwin graduated from Wylie High School and has spent the majority of his life in Abilene. He was a United Methodist pastor in Tuscola for around ten years, but shared that he also took an interest in commercial construction.

“What a lot of people don’t know, they think of me as pastor background, but actually was hoping to jump into commercial construction and so, that was a lot of my heart,” Goodwin explained. “I felt a call in in my heart to go into ministry, so during that time I was dong construction, I was also doing ministry.”

Many candidates start out as other elected officials, such as being a part of school boards, commissioners court or perhaps city council, whereas Goodwin took the route of pastor to running for mayor.

“I’ve been a believer since the eleventh grade in high school,” Goodwin said. “I was just praying to God and I said ‘God, what else am I missing, what else am I suppose to be doing’… All of a sudden, I felt a call to run for mayor of Abilene.”

Goodwin currently is a realtor and an associate pastor at Mosaic Church of Abilene. At first, he shared he was opposed to running for mayor, as he had never felt a desire to be in politics before. When he brought it up to his wife, she said he would make a great mayor, and he said he knew at that point that he needed to start studying.

“I’ve spent the past two years visiting with the people, being in the city council meetings, learning about things. I think I’ve missed maybe five or six council meetings out of the last two years,” Goodwin explained. “I’ve been trying to do everything I could to learn as much as I can to serve you well.”

Goodwin said one of his biggest takeaways from attending these meetings is that while the city is dong great things, community involvement can be improved.

“I see people get up there and share their complaints and all the things going wrong and I’m like ‘Man, but I wished you’d come in here and tell us to help us direct the city, show us the areas that they need to go, don’t just come in here when there’s a complaint,” Goodwin expressed. “Walk with the city, they want your voice.”

He also added that believers should be helping and guiding others as well.

“This is a place where believers are called to be… Christians are suppose to be sitting here, you know, guiding and walking with. And it’s not about control, it’s about being a part of the conversation,” Goodwin added.

In Goodwins’ campaign, he has focused in on transparency, community involvement, biblical core values and standards, economic growth and the partnership between Dyess and the city.

He shared that the city is at an evaluation stage, where things are changing for the better, but need to be evaluated, such as roadwork and water.

“We’re on an uphill climb to fix it and maybe what we voted on took care of that, you know, part of what we need to do is evaluate that situation year by year,” Goodwin added.

Recently, Goodwin spoke out against books in the library deemed inappropriate for youth. He shared that if he becomes mayor, he would continue to advocate for the removal of these books from the children shelves.

“One thing I keep on hearing is ‘Earn a place on the shelf.’ And so, there’s a lot of books out, if they want to buy these books for their children, go to the store. But in our public library, you should have to earn a place to be on the shelf,” Goodwin explained.

When asked why he would like to serve as mayor, he shared that he wants to be of service to the community and lead by walking side by side.

“I believe that God has called me to step into this role and serve you well, so I’m going to take the same approach as I would be in as a pastor an that’s of service,” Goodwin shared. “I’m not looking for a gain, I’m not looking for anything like that. What I am looking to do is help you walk through budgets, business stuff that I’ve been in my whole life. You know, I’m going to bring the pastors heart there.”

Go to the Ryan 4 Abilene website to learn more about Goodwin or on his Facebook. He shared that his inbox is open for messages and he would love to answer any questions.