Candidate: Ray Timms
Occupation: Heavy Equipment Technician
Post Sought: District 2, Lee County Commission
Family: Wife Melissa
Key Issues: Bring new industry into the area; Put the people back into local government; Return government back to one of its founding principles by including God
LEESBURG, Ga. -- Raymond Timms' wife Melissa tells people they meet that if Timms got on a random flight to Russia, he'd make 10 friends by the time the plane touched down in Moscow.
People who spend a little time talking with the affable first-time politician realize quickly that Melissa Timms is not kidding.
A heavy equipment technician who has worked with Caterpillar for 33 years, Timms' "desire to help people" and the encouragement of others convinced him to hit the campaign trail in a quest for the District 2 seat on the Lee County Commission.
To read about Timms' opponent, Luke Singletary, click here.
Timms said prayer led him to challenge for a Lee Board of Commissioners seat, and he assures voters that he will continue to seek Divine guidance if he is elected.
"I think there are two elements that are missing in national, state and local government today," he said. "I believe you have to get the people back involved, but more important is getting God involved. This nation was founded on the motto 'One Nation, Under God.' I think too many people in office now have forgotten that."
Timms had already decided to take the plunge and run for office when incumbent Commissioner Betty Johnson announced her decision not to seek re-election. And while the candidate said he has "the greatest respect for Miss Betty," he'd made up his mind to run for office no matter the competition.
"I wasn't going to run against Miss Betty then, and I'm not running against Luke (Singletary, his District 2 opponent) now," Timms said. "I'm running for an opportunity to try and make Lee County a batter place and to make the government more open to the people.
"I'm only asking people to vote their hearts. I have no intention of saying anything negative about any other candidate during this campaign."
Timms grew up in Stewart County but has lived in Lee County for the past 25 years. He said the county's growth in recent years owes a lot to the Lee County School System and to Albany and other area industries that provide job opportunities.
"I think it's vital that we work with the surrounding counties to bring industry to our area," Timms said. "Yes, we need more retail to bring in tax revenue, but the people in our region need jobs. This is something we all have to work on together."
Timms said that he not only plans to be available to discuss concerns with residents of District 2 and the entire county, but he intends to give the people back their voice in the local political system.
"I don't intend to go into office and start making all kinds of demands like I'm the new sheriff in town," he said. "I think we have a good group of commissioners, and I want to learn from them.
"But that doesn't mean I'm not prepared to speak up if I disagree with what's going on. If there's an issue that the people in the county bring to me, I'll pray about it and go into meetings prepared to stand up for my convictions. I believe the people of Lee County deserve that."