BRANSON, Mo. — With just under a week until election night in the Ozarks, KOLR10 checked in with the Branson mayoral candidates to see how the race is shaping up.

Larry Milton is the current mayor and was elected April 2021.

His opponents are Karen Best, who previously served two terms as Branson’s mayor. Alderman Charles Rodriguez, an Air Force veteran, is also running.

Each says they have a different perspective to bring to the office.

“I listen. I pride myself on carrying the voice of the people to City Hall,” Milton said. “I’ve been a businessman all my life and so operating city government at the speed of business versus the speed of government, I believe that has a lot of value to it.”

“There is a lack of leadership at City Hall right now, in my opinion, and so someone needed to step up in order to get the city going back in the right direction,” said Best. “Having been mayor before and having to make some corrections in some things that were going on at City Hall, I feel I have the background and expertise to get the ship going back in the right direction.”

“We should be following policies, procedures. We need to be thinking about Branson as a whole and what we can do that’s best for Branson and not just a couple citizens,” said Rodriguez.

And each candidate weighed in on what they plan to do to make Branson better.

“We’re doing so much to improve the quality of life for our residents. At the same time, paying attention to the business community,” Milton said. “But the business community is not the top priority for City Hall. We are there to be responsible for our tax dollars and improve the quality of life for everybody.”

“My priorities have been very simple,” said Best. “It’s always been number one is public safety. That’s number one. You’re not going to have people move here. You’re not going to have people stay here if they don’t feel safe. So many places around the country feel unsafe and I think that’s one of the things that we love about Branson is we do feel safe in our community. And making sure that that continues is very important.”

“I’m just going to push to get all the information I can out there to the aldermen, to the citizens, so we can make the best decisions possible,” Rodriguez said. “I’m never going to push a narrative. I’m never going to push my own agenda above the city’s and what they need. We should get back to the basics.”

Branson voters will cast their votes for mayor on April 4.