ST. CLOUD -- There are three open seats this year on the St. Cloud City Council and nine people are running for those spots.

Political newcomer Buddy King is one of those candidates. He's originally from Kansas City and moved here to St. Cloud about 18 years ago to attend St. Cloud State University. He decided to stay here and has been working at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota.

He says one of his top issues to help more of the city's residents move toward homeownership.

The reality is as more people buy property there are more people engaged into the community.  We start building a better economic system here.  There are just so many benefits to owning property and I think it's time.

King says if more people owned their homes they'd feel more connected to their neighborhoods and the community.

And that's what I think homeownership creates, a sense of belonging, and you want that a sense of belonging in your neighborhood, you want a sense of belonging in your community and your town.

Another one of his top issues is getting more black-owned businesses started in the city.

We have a whole east side of our community that's ready to be redeveloped.  What if it looked like a global market?  What if it looked like a cultural place that offered everything?

King also says he wants to get more of the community's young people engaged in local government.

They live here too and if you want them to stay and you don't want them to turn 18 and move out then you have to have them also feel that sense of belonging that sense of community.

King is currently working as an executive officer for a non-profit called the Higher Works Collaborative.

We have been hearing from each of the nine city council candidates last week and this week. Absentee voting for the August 11th primary is underway right now. The top six candidates with the most votes will advance on to the general election in November.

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