ALBANY, Ga. -- The head of the Dougherty County Commission told a crowd of friends and supporters Wednesday that he will seek a third term, saying that economic development and job creation should be government's first priority.
Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard, who has been at the helm of the Dougherty County Commission since 2003, is up for re-election. According to elections officials, no one has filed paperwork to challenge Sinyard, although the deadline remains roughly two weeks away.
During his speech to supporters, Sinyard focused on job development and creation as the most important challenges facing the residents of Albany and Dougherty County.
"Every community has three kinds of people: the ones that have a job, the ones that want a job and those who have a job and need a better one," Sinyard said. "One thing has always been clear to me -- we have to protect jobs that currently exist and work hard to grow new, good-paying jobs."
Sinyard said he believes that quality jobs and families "are the best anchor" for economic development and stability.
Pointing to local success stories, Sinyard heralded the work done by the 4,100 Marines, "civilian Marines" and contract employees at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany for keeping the gates open despite being targeted by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
Sinyard spoke of the success of Equinox Chemical as an example of turning economic tragedy into a positive development -- a reference to CEO Mark Grimaldi's experiences as a former Merck employee who turned his knowledge into a business that was recently named top exporter of the year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Albany Mayor Willie Adams said he had the pleasure of working with Sinyard on several projects and that his connections with local, state and national figures are assets to the people of Dougherty County.
"We're blessed to find people like Jeff 'Bodine' Sinyard who are willing to serve and sacrifice their time, their businesses and sometimes their families for his public service," Adams said. "This is what Albany needs."
Peggie Nielson, an ardent supporter of Sinyard's, said she had spoken with a woman who wasn't the type to go out publicly and speak of others, but who had spoken of Sinyard.
"She said that he was an honorable man who always looked like he was sincere about what he was doing," Nielson said. "The fact is, he's a 24/7, 365 public servant who always puts the needs of the county first."