Mayoral Candidate Corey Capone Discusses Strategy for Rebuilding Leslie

Published 10:41 am Monday, October 9, 2023

Corey Capone and his wife Regina sat down for an interview on Oct. 4th. Corey is a father of four with three grandkids. Capone talked about his political views.

“I’m a registered independent. I’m a constitutionalist.”

He talked about his motivations for running for mayor.

“When I was asked to run, it was because of our background experience, and because we think differently because we are not from here. So not being a local both helps and hurts. The hurt part is obviously we don’t have the internal pulse of the community for the last fifty years, we may not understand some of the nuances. The plus side is we’re not from here, and we don’t have the pulse of the people and we don’t understand the nuances nor is that even a factor of consideration, because the nuances and the culture shouldn’t be a factor in dictating in how we run the government of the city to benefit the people.

He stated his qualifications.

“I got 34 years in military special operations. I started out in the ranger regiment, I’m a retired green beret, I’ve worked in two different special missions units, and the intelligence community. I’ve been in 40 plus countries, I’ve got over 20 plus combat tours, she’s been with me for most of them, this is where I want to retire. I have rebuilt communities within the special operations overseas in several countries much larger than the city of Leslie under much direr circumstances.”

He addressed the desire that many voters in Leslie have for a restaurant.

“It’s literally the number one thing everyone’s asked for. People say that not understanding the effort it takes to come in and start a restaurant, because of the permits and the FDA and all of that. But you could foster that through something as simple as giving them a tax break from the city of Leslie for the first so many years, kind of like what Amazon and a lot of the other major corporations do.”

He talked about plans he had made to go into the business.

“There was the farmer’s market that had a food shop in it that did very well. It closed down. Mr. Jackson was getting older and selling off his property, we got a great deal on it, it’s an amazing spot, it’s a great investment, we bought it outright immediately, then we realized the investment it would take to turn that around and do an actual restaurant. Then our parents moved on the property, her father passed away, so we kind of had a small pause.”

Capone gave a list of challenges that held previous restaurants back.

“The Mill, great restaurant, everybody loved it. They wanted to do a buffet at lunch, and that was kind of their focus, their bailiwick, where they were going to get their niche, problem is that this is a farming community, people aren’t going to leave the farm to go to a buffet, and they also changed up their menu a lot. This is an older community that likes what they like.”

He also responded to questions about whether community assets like the telephone museum were underutilized.

“The railroad would stop here all the time, to go to the telephone museum. Problem was, it wasn’t always open. Timing, making sure the telephone museum is open when the railroad stop is here is one thing, but also having something else. Having a sandwich shop, maybe even an old school ice cream shop, or an antique store or maybe some of these other things that could be brought in.

He also addressed festivals, another of Leslie’s attractions.

“We went to the Plains festival and hit up all the vendors. We asked them questions and we listened to them. How do you do your circuit? How do you do your vending?”

He stated the advice he had received.

“If you guys are going to do these things, look at the calendar for the festival events for every town within a hundred miles and throw that on your community calendar for the city, find the vacant days in there, plan your festival around those vacancies, the vacuum, and then send it out to everybody, and that’s how you pull vendors in.”

He also addressed his last name.

“And for the record yes we are related. My grandfather and Alphonse were cousins.”