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Murray's mayor Dan Snarr hardly looks or acts the part of a politician

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 25 2013 3:00 p.m. MST

“It’s just ridiculous,” says April. “He has this thing about driving ugly cars. It’s driving me crazy.”

He once bought a Lexus for April "to make her happy.” He refused to drive it — “I was uncomfortable to be seen in it,” he says. He’s got a couple of motorcycles in the garage, including a Harley, but that’s pretty much where they remain.

“I’m not materialistic at all,” he says.

Pretentious, he’s not. In a world of suits and ties, he wears jeans and khakis with boots and flannel shirts. For years he wore a beat-up denim jacket when working outside. It looked as if it had been hit with a dozen shotgun blasts. April threw it away five times and he retrieved it five times. Finally, employees stole it from the office and placed it in a large frame, under glass. It now hangs on the wall of the mayor’s office.

Looking back, Snarr says: “I came from a poor family. I didn’t want to see my kids go through what I went through, but in some way it’s a disservice. It makes you stronger to have adversity. It makes you a better person if you can find a way to overcome it.”

Dan and April, who have been married for 40 years, have faced adversity while raising their family of five children — Heather, Tucker, Trevor (who is a familiar name because of his movie-acting career), Denver and Samantha. Denver became addicted to pain medication while recovering from a series of injuries and died of an overdose a few years ago. Samantha, like her grandfather, has M.S.

“Just don’t ever give up,” says Snarr. “Endure to the end. Try to be a good person. Try to be fair and honest. Try to help people. Try to do good. Do what in your heart you know is best for everyone, not just you.”

The mustache

With the possible exception of Santa Claus and Abraham Lincoln, no one has gotten more mileage out of facial hair. It’s been the target of two fundraising events. It’s been mentioned in magazines and newspapers. It’s been a curiosity for hundreds of passers-by who want their pictures taken with him — airline crews, people on the sidewalk, tourists in Washington, D.C. During all the fuss over Murray’s "American Idol" star, David Archuleta, his mustache drew mention from host Ryan Seacrest.

In 2008, shortly before he was going to begin a campaign for re-election, he was urged to shave the mustache for charity. He begged off by suggesting that voters decide the matter. Citizens voted to shave it off. A representative from the "Ellen Degeneres Show" called, inviting him to shave it on the show. He declined, explaining that he had already promised he would do it at Costco. So the mustache fell — with April doing the honors — and $2,200 was raised for the Children’s Miracle Network. The American Mustache Institute posted a eulogy for the mayor's mustache on its website.

He grew it again, and two years ago he was asked to shave for charity again. Once again, he put the decision in the hands of Murray citizens, who were told to give him the thumbs-up or thumbs-down signal during the city’s annual Fourth of July Parade. His city employees gave him a reprieve by bringing up the rear en masse and giving him the thumbs up. The event was written about in newspapers as far away as Iraq and Scotland.

Afterward, he was invited to appear on the "Steve Harvey Show" for "marriage counseling" (April hates the ‘stache) and shave it on the air. But in the Green Room before the show he asked April not to shave it, as planned. She cut four inches.

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