Election 2009: Spear vying for spot on Spencer board
By Steve Huffman
SPENCER ó C.E. Spear was at home Friday afternoon when someone called inquiring about his latest bid for political office.
Spear’s wife, Julia, answered the phone, then had to go fetch her husband, who was outside. In a minute or two, he answered.
“I’m out there laying tile,” Spear said. “I’m doing some repair work. I can lay brick and all that stuff. I’m doing it at my own pace.”
Spear, 85, decided last week that he’s making another bid for the Spencer Board of Aldermen. He’s served 16 years as alderman and served another 14 years as mayor. Spear laughed that the grandparents of some of those who are now casting ballots for him once voted for him.
“I decided to try one more time,” Spear said of his decision to run. “I may live to regret it.”
But probably not.
Spear was a board member from 1965 to 1977 when he was elected mayor, a position he held until 1991. He took a six-year break before running for alderman again in 1997. He’s served continuously since.
“I have no personal agenda,” Spear said of his bid for office. “I’ve been there and done all that stuff.”
He said he believes the town is “basically in good shape,” though he also admitted, “I’d love to see more business on this end of the county.”
Spear is a native of Georgia who moved to Spencer as an employee of Southern Railway, working at Spencer Shops. When the rail yard closed in 1960, Spear opted to remain in the area. He’s worked in the insurance business and also operated Industrial Repairs Co., a steel fabrication and machine shop, before retiring 22 years ago.
Spear and his wife have been married for more than 60 years. They have one son and two grandchildren.
Spear had to miss a board meeting ó a rarity ó when he was hospitalized with pneumonia. He said he’s much better now.
“Right now, I feel better than I’ve felt in a long time,” Spear said Friday.
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