As of press time, Billy Williams, Roger Waldrop, Joseph Davidson and Tommy Shaw had each qualified for the District III seat.
The candidates had from Monday, Dec. 8, to Wednesday, Dec. 10. As of Wednesday, the registrar’s office had received the paperwork from four candidates, though Tessie Payton, registrar worker, had anticipated a higher number. “We’re expecting more,” she said. “We had other people call and come by...but you don’t know until it’s over with.”
As for the current roster of candidates, government experience is plentiful amongst them.
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, earlier 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.
Roger Waldrop, 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 councilman since 2000 - said he believes he has the credentials to be an effective member of the county commission.
Though Joseph Davidson has never run for public office before, he also has government experience, as he currently works as a Transportation Planner with Rome/Floyd County. Davidson his attention will be focused on the citizens’ best interest. “Our county is to the point where we could go down the bad road or the good road, growth wise. I want to see us take the good one,” he said. “I want to see us maintain the quality of life we’re used to living in Polk County.”
County Manager Jim Bramblett had expected more interest in the 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 announced the special election would 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.