Hood looks to succeed Blackmon in City Council District 1 race

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By Jesef Williams

Kenneth B. Hood says he has the people skills needed to be a good councilman.

The Lancaster native is seeking the City Council District 1 seat that opened after the death of longtime Councilman Preston Blackmon in August. Blackmon, who was 82, held the seat for more than 30 years.

Hood said he decided to run before Blackmon died. However, he thought this moment wouldn't come until 2010, when Blackmon's term would expire.

Hood will face Blackmon's son, Racarda Blackmon, in the Nov. 4 election. The winner will serve the two remaining years in Preston Blackmon's term.

"I can be a good part of this community," said Hood, 50, who said he looked at Preston Blackmon as a father figure. "I can fill the shoes."

Hood's top concerns are bringing more jobs to the area and creating more recreational and educational opportunities for local children. He thinks it's important to continue funding road projects and other infrastructure improvements. He would also like to work to somehow lower utility rates for city residents.

A Lancaster High School graduate, Hood studied heating and air at York Technical College for two years. He worked at the Springs Grace Plant for more than 25 years. He is a landlord and does some home remodeling.

Hood and his wife, Virginia, have five grown children and 10 grandchildren.

He is a deacon at Warner Temple AME Zion Church and is a member of the Athenian Lodge No. 197 in Heath Springs.

Hood has never held political office, but said he has helped with the local Barack Obama presidential campaign and served as Linda Blackmon Brace's treasurer during her mayoral bid in 2006.

Hood, who's lived in Lancaster since childhood, said he's in the tune with the concerns of the people, and the people know what type of person he is.

"I'm a people person," Hood said. "I know how to talk with the good and the bad, the old and the young."

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152