Hauck qualifies as write-in candidate

COVINGTON - Kevin Hauck has qualified as a write-in candidate for Newton County Tax Commissioner.

The founder of Newton Neighborhoods First, a citizens' information group, Hauck said he plans to launch a grassroots campaign in the next few days.

"I know my chances of actually winning are slim to none," Hauck said, but added that he wants "to let some of the people on the western part of the county voices be heard a little better."

"I've met with the commissioners and they've told me one thing face-to-face and then they turn around and do something entirely different. If we can't be heard face-to-face, maybe we can do something on the ballot," he said.

Hauck said his main reason for running as a write-in is to take away votes from the incumbent, Republican Barbara Dingler, who is up against Democrat Nicholas Day.

"It seems they're using that office as a means of raising taxes without having to do millage rate increases," Hauck said. "Every year we live in our houses, our property taxes go up, but in this economy, our values aren't going up."

Hauck said he was not aware that the tax commissioner does not assess property values: That is handled through the tax assessors' office.

"I've heard other things, the way things are done in that office, that I didn't care for," Hauck added, but would not elaborate.

Hauck said it was the $2,034.01 qualifying fee that kept him from running in the primary.

Describing himself as leaning toward the Libertarian political philosophy, Hauck also said he did not want to align himself with a particular party.

Hauck has lived in Newton County for four years. Prior to that, he lived in Rockdale and DeKalb counties.

Hauck said he doesn't want Newton County to fall prey to growth's negative impacts, something he witnessed in DeKalb County.

"I don't want to see Newton end up like that," he said. "That's why I'm trying to be so proactive in the community. I'm wanting to help turn things around and make our voices be heard."

Through Newton Neighborhoods First, Hauck has been a vocal opponent of big box stores like Wal-Mart Supercenter and Home Depot. He is a sales coordinator for an original equipment manufacturer, Kliklok-Woodman.

Tuesday was the deadline for write-in candidates to qualify for the Nov. 4 General Election.

Write-in candidates for general county elections are required to file notice with the superintendent of elections and publish notification in the legal organ of the community.

Hauck's name will not appear on the ballot, said Board of Elections Director Donna Morrison. Those wanting to vote for him must select the write-in option on the touch screen machines and type in his name.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.