BLACKFOOTâ€”Retired Army Lt. Colonel, Paul Marion Loomis, has hopes of continuing a life of service as Blackfoot's new mayor.
Loomis joins fellow candidates Dan Cravens, Rick Bigler, Carlos Mercardo, Carlos Marinez and John Hoobler in his quest to replace current mayor Mike Virtue who will not seek reelection in November.
Loomis' decision to run for mayor is based upon his belief that "service is important in the community," as demonstrated in his 26 years of service in the United States Army.
He entered the Army as a private from Weiser, Idaho only intending to spend a 6-year enlistment and then complete college. However, it didn't take long for him to understand, "true service and commitment to the military."
Loomis has proven his leadership abilities through vast administrative experience and his educational background which includes a Master's Degree from the University of Nevada in Political Science with and emphasis in 'policy analysis.'
While a longtime resident of Idaho, Loomis was out of state for 30 years, making 'home' for himself and his family where ever the army sent him, including numerous locations in the U.S. and around the world.
The Loomis' moved to Blackfoot in 2009 for an employment opportunity and immediately fell in love with the area.
"We enjoy the outdoor activities, the beauty and sense of community that exists here in Eastern Idaho. We were immediately embraced by the community and enjoying serving with our church and local organizations." he said. "After having to move every two or three years, we feel that we are finally home."
He went on to say, "I feel that my greatest weakness in this campaign is the fact the by the time of the election, I will only have been in the community for and a half years. But, I believe this also my greatest strength. I will not come to the position with preconceived ideas or obligations to groups. I will be a fresh set of eyes with broad experience."
"My heritage is that of a small farming community and I understand the values that exist here in Blackfoot. I do not want Blackfoot to become another Boise. I want maintain the integrity and identity that is Blackfoot," he added.
Loomis and his wife of 38 years, Judy, have six children. Three of them are involved in military through active duty, reserve and national guard units; two are business professionals and one is a student in Provo, Utah.
"I have adopted Blackfoot as my home and now I ask Blackfoot to adopt me," he said.