LEESBURG, Ga. — Typically in Lee County, political newcomer Luke Singletary would have already been making plans to take office on the Lee County Commission.
Republicans who win the primary election in Lee County almost always have no opposition in the general election because Lee County is such a Republican-dominated county.
This year, Democrat Mary Egler has decided to oppose Singletary in the general election.
“If I count on one hand the number of times a Democrat has run, I probably would count the times she has run,” Singletary said.
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 country's new library branch/conference center; Transparency and collaboration among county entities
Despite the challenge, Singletary is unfazed.
“I’m not running against a person,” he said. “I was not running against Ray Timms in the primary. I am running based on what I can bring to the commission. Anybody who runs for public office is doing an honorable thing, and I respect her for that.”
Singletary said the Forrester Parkway extension is likely his primary goal if elected.
“T-SPLOST did not go through, but we still have some key road projects in the county that need to be done,” he said.
Forrester Parkway provides benefits for both the east side and the west side of Lee County, he said.
The road project, Singletary says, allows people on the west side of the county, including those in the Callaway Lakes, Hickory Grove, Pebble Ridge subdivisions, to have access to Publix, CVS, Winn Dixie and other retailers along the southern portion of U.S. Highway 19 in Lee County.
“This is a key way to keep 20 percent of our tax base west of U.S. Highway 82 spending their money in Lee County,” Singletary said. Presently, he said Dougherty County gets most of that disposable income.
Forrester Parkway would considerably cut travel time for those residents to U.S. 19.
Singletary, who is running for the District 2 post, said his district is the only one in the county that does not have a fire department within five miles of certain parts of the district.
Solving that problem would greatly reduce the amount of insurance premiums property owners in the district are paying.
The best solution, Singletary said, is building a new fire station in the district. If that is not economically feasible, he suggests building a pump and fill station for fire trucks. That move would improve the fire rating and reduce insurance premiums, he said.
Singletary said he admired the work of outgoing Commissioner Betty Johnson, who was known for being an advocate for county workers.
“I want to follow in Mrs. Betty’s footsteps in that regard,” Singletary said. “I want to see that county employees are taken care of, to recruit the best talent to work in the country and make sure we have the right leaders in place, and I think we do. We have to keep quality people.”