Final 2007 decisions to be made Tuesday

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Local candidates in the Nov. 6 general election urged residentsto visit the polls Tuesday and express their desire for who wouldserve them in elective offices for the next four years.

“This is your opportunity for your voice to be heard,” saidDistrict Four Supervisor Doug Moak said.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for residents tocast their ballots for all state and regional offices and somelocal offices.

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Regional races on the ballot include Senate District 39 and HouseDistricts 53 and 92.

Many of the local races were decided in the party primaries andrunoffs in August. However, competition remains for sheriff,supervisors in Districts Four and Five and Justice Court Judge PostTwo.

Moak, the Democratic incumbent, said transportation has dominatedthe campaigns of supervisor races, but there were also other issuesto consider.

“I think the top issue in our race would probably be candidatequalifications,” Moak said. “It’s not just about roads and bridges.It’s also the business management of the county.”

However, his opponent, independent candidate Earl H. Brown, saidroads and bridges were the focus of the campaign for a reason.

“One of the main problems I have with the supervisor we have now isthat some roads haven’t been built up to par, and I live on one ofthose roads,” Brown said. “I would like to see roads built tolast.”

Incumbent District Five Supervisor Gary Walker, a Democrat, andRepublican challenger Michael Assink also said transportation ismost likely the top issue among voters in their area of thecounty.

“Bridges are a concern all over the county. The main goal I have isto do a better job than I already am on our roads and bridges,”Walker said. “I think I could communicate better with the people ofDistrict Five.”

Assink said it will take more than communication.

“People want good roads and they’re just not getting them,” hesaid. “Those within the district in the city have a whole differentset of issues.”

Chief among them, Assink said, is that Brookhaven residents paytaxes to both the city and county.

“I think there’s something we can do about that with thecooperation of the city – perhaps in waste disposal fees,” hesaid.

Cooperation was also on the mind of Justice Court Judge Post OneDemocratic nominee Ann Reeves.

“I hope to work with the sheriff to put the work program back intouse,” she said.

Reeves said the work program died four years ago when the formersheriff was elected and she hoped to revive it under the newadministration. Under the program, people who might struggle to payfines may be assigned to the work program, where the sheriff’sdepartment supervises them and they can earn $42 per eight-hour daytoward their fine.

Her opponent, Republican Freddie Canon, said he trusted voters todetermine who would be the better candidate for the bench.

“We have choices every day to determine who we will serve, but onNov. 6 we get to choose who will serve us,” Canon said. “Let’s notlower the law, let’s raise the standard.”

Incumbent Sheriff Steve Rushing, who was appointed in September2006, said he has more to do, but Lincoln County voters have ataste of what the Democrat will do if elected.

“I think over the past year people have seen what I will do,”Rushing said. “Deputies are patrolling, programs have restarted andinmates have gone back to work. Of course, we’ll look at anyprogram that will help and improve the safety of the people ofLincoln County.”

Terry Harper, his Republican opponent, said he will establish newprograms in the county to assist the youth and parents.

“I have a lot of plans to bring to this department, which startswith our kids and parents, but I cannot do it by myself,” Harpersaid. “With your help and support, we can start a process we’ll allbe proud of.”

Candidates elected in November will take office Jan. 1 and servefor a term of four years.