Tillman named D-1 commissioner

Published 5:00 am Friday, June 6, 2008

Brookhaven School District Assistant Superintendent JamesTillman has been appointed as election commissioner for DistrictOne, Lincoln County supervisors decided earlier this week.

On the recommendation of board president the Rev. Jerry L.Wilson, supervisors approved Tillman’s appointment to fill atwo-week vacancy following the death of John Hightower. Tillmanwill complete the unexpired term of the late Hightower, who losthis battle with cancer on May 21.

County officials said Tillman would serve the remainder of theterm and run for the position in the November elections.

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“I was pleased with the confidence the supervisors placed in meby appointing me to this position,” Tillman said. “Mr. Hightowerand I were friends, and I hate the circumstances of my appointment,but I will continue to be fair and impartial and help run goodelections according to the law.”

Tillman said he believes his past experience in elections wasprobably why he was chosen as election commissioner, adding that hehas a working knowledge of the system and “knows what [he’s]doing.”

Tillman’s appointment to the position brings a wealth ofelection experience to the commission, as he has served in the samecapacity for the city for eight years and will continue to holdthat post. Tillman also has approximately 25 years of experienceserving on the Lincoln County Democratic Executive Committee, 18 ofwhich he spent as chairman. He gave up his position with thecommittee when he began serving as election commissioner with thecity.

“That would have been a conflict,” Tillman said. “As acommissioner, you can be involved with a party, but you can’t be onan executive committee that would make basic election decisions.But I did gain a lot of experience with that committee running theprimaries.”

The county election commission has not yet met with Tillman onboard, but he knows the drill.

“I need to meet and see what the priorities are for DistrictOne, but I know the books will continue to be purged and we’ll makesure we have people in the right places as far as correctaddresses,” Tillman said. “A lot of people vote by addidavitballot, and we want to make sure we have everyone where they shouldbe.”