John Fretti has seen issues from many sides -- as a business owner, family man and active volunteer. We expect he will apply a wholistic approach to problems if elected mayor. He presents himself well and expresses an articulate vision for Valdosta's future.

However, he has mighty large shoes -- boots, if you will -- to fill if he succeeds Mayor James H. Rainwater in Tuesday's election.

We want him to appreciate what's right about the Azalea City: a well-run city that encourages growth and efficient municipal services. It's a place that cares about all its constituents and doesn't ignore poor areas of the city in favor of wealthier ones. City leaders help keep the door wide open for new industries but make sure we don't lose the jobs already here, whether private or governmental.

We endorse Fretti in his bid to become mayor. We see no reason why he cannot eventually become like the mayor we lost -- someone who didn't always make the right decision but who always was striving to move us forward, and who expressed concern about all his constituents.

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