Billy Williams, who served on the Polk County Commission from Jan. 1, 1999 to Dec. 31, 2002, and Tommy Shaw, a Rockmart City Councilman from Jan. 1, 1998 to Dec. 31, 2001, told the Cedartown Standard that they plan to run for the District III seat in the upcoming special election.
Last year, Billy Williams ran as the incumbent for the District III position, but was defeated in the primary by Don Williams 3,279 votes to 1,483. Following the primary, Don Williams ran unopposed in the November general election.
Although Shaw and Billy Williams are the only people to verbally commit to the election at this point, two other Polk residents are pondering whether or not to run this March.
Former Rockmart City Manager and current Rockmart City Councilman Roger Waldrop and Steve Holder, also a former Rockmart councilman, said they are considering entering the election.
With his experience in city government - he served as Rockmart’s city manager from May 1, 1997 to Sept. 2, 1998 and has been a Rockmart coucilman since 2000 - Waldrop said he believes he has the credentials to be an effective member of the county commission, though he has not yet committed himself either way. “I feel like I’m qualified,” he said. “I am considering it, but I haven’t fully made a decision. I’d hate to miss an opportunity to run.”
Holder told the Standard that he is also weighing his options, but has not to come to a foregone conclusion. “I’m looking at it, but I have not yet decided,” Holder stated. “I’m definitely considering it.” He was a member of the Rockmart city council from Jan. 1994 to Dec. 2001.
In the ensuing weeks, more candidates are expected to announce their intentions to run. County Manager Jim Bramblett said he feels there will be a larger number of candidates for this seat than in years past. “It’s a very important position,” he explained. “It will be well represented by the local citizenry.”
At the November regular meeting, the county commission will announce that a special election will be scheduled for March 2, 2004, coinciding with the United States Presidential primary. Commission Chairman Billy Croker said having the election with the presidential primary will save taxpayers approximately $20,000.
Later this year, candidates will begin the qualification process. “I think on Dec. 17 we’ll have the qualifying,” Croker said.
Commission Vice Chairman David Jarvis previously stated the election would be non-partisan without a primary.
Although the election will be countywide, all the qualifying candidates will be residents of the third district.
The district encompasses the eastern side of Polk County, most notably Aragon and part of Rockmart.