30 Jul [MMA] 
UFC heavyweight Walt Harris' love for Homewood is why he's running for City Council

UFC heavyweight Walt Harris is a professional athlete, a fighter and a father – and he hopes to add city councilman to that list.

The “Big Ticket” will need Homewood, Ala., residents to submit their tickets at the ballot box on Aug. 25 in his bid to be elected to the Homewood City Council. According to Harris (23-8 MMA, 14-6 UFC), he’s looking to create change in his community.

“The people in my community that are running for various offices right now came to me and thought it’d be a good idea and a welcomed change for our community,” Harris recently told MMA Junkie. “It definitely was something I put a lot of thought into. It just came about two or two-and-a-half weeks ago. It took me about four or five days to make a decision on it.”

With the U.S. political climate in a heightened state, Harris said there’s no better time for him to run than now. Harris thinks he’ll be able to implement change in his community. In order to do so, Harris plans on putting himself in the shoes of not just some residents – but everyone in his community.

“I realized it was something I felt I needed to do, especially during this time with all of the things that are going on in our country in our various communities,” Harris said. “I feel like I have something different to offer to the public. Another thing that went into to it was I love my community so much that I feel like being a public servant for the people around me is the best thing that I can do to show them how grateful I am that they have been here for my family and been here for me for my whole entire life. City council was the perfect next step for me.”

Image via Iridium Sports Agency

When Harris decided to run, he imagined it’d be a lot of work. The reality, however, proved to be even more complex than he expected. However, Harris is up for the challenge. Public office isn’t the first venture Harris has jumped headfirst into.

“It’s a challenge, and I’m prepared to meet it 110 percent with everything I got in me, because that’s just how I approach everything,” Harris said. “I started fighting without any experience. I look at it like a challenge like that. It’s something I’m willing to try to conquer, and I’m going to do the best I can.”

So far the response has been largely promising. Friends, family and community members have loudly voiced their support, Harris said. The Aug. 25 local election is less than a month away, and Harris is feeling the love.

“It’s been amazing,” Harris said. “Everybody’s been reaching out to me, showing their support – calling me, asking me for yard signs, and different things like that. It’s funny because our community is big, but it’s kind of small. I’m running against people I actually know. The guy I’m running against, I coached his son in basketball. It’s a tight-knit community. It’s going to be something if I win. I’ll definitely be very proud to hold office, for sure.”

While he’s aiming to add new responsibilities to his weekly routine, Harris said the part-time city council gig won’t diminish his fighting career – or vice versa.

“The office is a part-time job, so it’s not like I’ll be dedicating any extraneous amount of hours that’s going to take away from what I’m doing,” Harris said. “Like I said, our community is tight-knit. Everybody knows me. They’re willing to work with me as far as that goes. Fighting is definitely in the forefront. This is just something that I’m taking advantage of because the time is now. … Win or lose, I’m honored to be a part of it.”