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Tri States Public Radio and NPR News will provide you with updated stories from all of our local and national elections between now and November. The NPR News element below will be updated constantly, and will sometimes provide live coverage and audio from important events leading up to the November elections. You can find all of our local coverage after the jump.Election 2012 News From NPR

Election Preview – Hamilton

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The men running to be Hamilton’s next mayor bring similar views and experiences to the race.

Dave Cornelius and Steve Lowman are running to replace current Mayor Steve Woodruff, who chose not to seek another term in office.

The two men know what they are getting into as Cornelius previously served as Mayor of Hamilton while Lowman held the same post in Warsaw.

Cornelius says the biggest challenge facing Hamilton is making ends meet when the state owes it about $60,000.

“I don’t think it is going to improve,” says Cornelius.  “It may stay at $60,000, but it has every possibility of going higher.”

Lowman agrees that Hamilton’s finances are its biggest challenge.

“You need someone at the helm who is willing to do what they can to still provide the services people expect, but still run a tight ship,” says Lowman.

Both men are retired.  They say that will allow them, if elected, to hold regular office hours and to travel to Springfield to lobby on behalf of Hamilton.

ELECTRIC AGGREGATION

Meanwhile, Hamilton residents will have an opportunity to directly affect their checkbooks when they go to the polls.

The April 9th ballot asks residents whether to give the city the authority to negotiate for a better rate for electricity.

Former Quincy Mayor Chuck Scholz represents SIMEC, the company that would seek out the best rate for Hamilton.

He says residents of many participating cities are paying about one-third less for electricity.

Scholz says customers are even covered if Ameren’s rates fall below the negotiated rate because SIMEC must match the Ameren rate or allow the city out of its agreement.

Residents and small business owners could opt out at no cost if the program is approved.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.