The ballot for the coming Columbia County elections officially now has a couple of names.
Andy Kingery - former head of Columbia County's Chamber of Commerce and vice-president of SunTrust Bank - is the first person to join the race for at-large county commission chairman.
"I plan to work with the county administrator, my fellow commissioners and department heads to ensure that our tax dollars are spent wisely," he said during his Thursday announcement.
The at-large chairman position was added to the county commission this year - actually the legislation is still awaiting the governor's signature - with the general election coming in November.
Kingery, 65, said he wants to focus on retaining good employees, sales tax projects and the county budget if elected.
"I want us to have a user-friendly government," he said. "I want people to feel like when they come to our departments, they are being heard."
Also Thursday, county commissioner Frank Spears announced his intent to seek reelection to his commission seat.
"I think I really have a propensity to tell it like it is, be straight, be honest and move forward," he said during a fund raiser at Jones Creek. "I like to think of myself as a problem solver, not a politician."
Spears, one of the most outspoken members of the commission, said he wants to encourage economic development, improve and expand infrastructure and maintain professional management in the county.
"To me, every single penny counts," he said after passing out pennies to the audience. "Those pennies have to be spent wisely."
He promised to continue his periodic public meetings with constituents if he's re-elected.
"You never go wrong when you listen to the customer," he said.
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