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Six candidates prepare for Monroe Commission special election

Six men are running for the open Monroe County Commission seat / Jennifer Munoz (WGXA)

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. -- District 2 voters will head to the polls tomorrow and cast a ballot for one of six men vying for the commissioner seat.

It's a special election to fill the seat that's been empty since early December when Commissioner Jim Ham was killed in a wreck.

Chris Ham, Earl Jackson, Jimmy Jones, John Martin, Jay Patterson and Eddie Rowland are all running for the seat.

"I'd like to bring integrity, honesty, common sense approach to solving matters, searching for win-win situations," Ham said.

"To do some things to help out our county," Rowland said. "To use my business experience and expertise and help improve our quality of life."

"We've got to bring industry to this community," Jones said. "We need business leaders sitting at the Commission Office in order to negotiate the companies that are looking to relocate to Georgia or even to the United States and we have to be able to compete."

"The reason I'm running is it's time to move Monroe County forward," Patterson said. "There's very little economic development in our county and we need economic development."

"Come to the table with honesty, integrity and bright, fresh ideas," Jackson said. "You know, out with the old in with the new."

"I'm just simply tire with seeing the good ole boys system at work, not only around the country but in our county as well," Martin said. "There's the same people getting the same benefits and the majority of the people lacking those benefits."

There will be a runoff if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. It would be held April 18.

Another big ticket item on the ballot Tuesday is the future of the Monroe County Hospital. A straw poll will judge if residents are willing to pay a one mill increase in taxes, equaling $1.2 million, to help with the hospital's financial woes.

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