Candidate: Luke Singletary
Occupation: Sales Representative/Diabetes Specialist
Post Sought: District 2, Lee County Commission
Family: Wife Patsy, Sons Carter, 6, Parker, 4
Key Issues: Quality growth for Lee County; Maximum utilization of the county’s new library branch/conference center; Transparency and collaboration among county entities
LEESBURG, Ga. -- When Luke Singletary says he wants to protect his and other citizens' "investment" in Lee County as a member of the Lee County Commission, he's not just talking about finances.
"My family and many of my friends live here, and they've got a personal stake invested in Lee County," Singletary, who is running for the commission's District 2 seat, said. "People are proud of their county; there's a lot of passion from people who know how good we can be.
"We built our home in Lee County; our kids play T-ball here; we support our school system, eat and shop here. Those are the investments that matter, and I felt that the only way to protect them was to get involved."
To read about Singletary's opponent, Ray Timms, click here.
A political novice, Singletary said a "perfect storm" of circumstances convinced him that this election cycle was the right time for him to run.
"I've always talked about politics, but I've never felt the timing was right (to seek office)," he said. "But when we built our house here, I started paying more attention. I noticed that there was a lot of political unrest about the commission and thought it might be time for some new ideas.
"I got a lot of different perspectives from friends and family and decided that maybe I was the one to bring those ideas. I knew it would be tough to challenge Miss Betty (Johnson) for her seat, but I thought the experience would be worth it."
Shortly after Singletary told family members he planned to run for office, Johnson stunned the county by announcing plans to retire at the end of her current term, ending a 40-year public service career. That left Singletary in a battle with heavy equipment technician Ray Timms for the District 2 seat.
"I was shocked," Singletary said. "Miss Betty announced her decision in The Albany Herald on a Sunday, and I called her Monday and asked if I could come by and talk with her. I gained a lot of knowledge from her."
A pharmaceutical sales representative and partner in the White Oak LLC residential real estate management company, Singletary said his campaign is centered on quality growth in Lee County, wise utilization of facilities such as the new conference center in the southwest portion of the county and transparency.
"I think we need to hold town hall-type meetings maybe quarterly, but hold them in different districts of the county so that all citizens will have an opportunity to voice their concerns," he said. "We complain about people not getting involved, but I don't think we make it user-friendly enough for them to get involved."
Singletary said that while he does not like adding taxes, he favors the regional special-purpose local-option transportation sales tax as a way to improve travel within the county.
"It's a way to end the east-west division that exists," he said. "To bring quality growth here, we have to have a better transportation/roadway system. I think we have to look at this issue just as we would all other important issues: finding what's best for Lee County."