COVINGTON -- Kenneth O. Hardeman is the first to announce his candidacy for the District 4 Board of Commissioners seat.
Hardeman will face incumbent J.C. Henderson, who qualified to seek re-election also as a Democrat on Monday.
A Newton County native and a member of the Newton County Planning Commission, Hardeman is running as a Democrat. He said his desire to see the county grow in the right direction and achieve the 2050 Build Out Plan, as well as his desire to be a voice for residents, motivated him to seek office.
"Our community is changing. As the economy is on a downward slide, there are many different things impacting people who live here. I think the common person needs a voice," Hardeman said.
"We need to come up with new, creative ways to finance some of the things we need to do to improve our infrastructure. I want to bring that vitality and optimism and do some things differently to accomplish some common goals we've set for the future of our county," he added.
Hardeman said one area that deserves extra attention is economic development and the marketing of Newton County to business and industry.
He promised to be active, accessible and accountable: Active in pursuing new industry by promoting the good things about Newton County; accessible to his constituents; and accountable in the management of tax dollars.
His campaign slogan is "A New SEASON for Leadership in the 4th District." SEASON is an acronym for synergy, equity, aptitude, standards, optimism and nobility, qualities Hardeman said he wishes to bring to the position.
"I've always been involved in things and I'm accessible. I have worked in this community on various projects and I bring a fresh voice with some fresh ideas and fresh perspective as to where this county's going," he said. "We need to be open to the 2050 plan and what we'll look like in 50 years and, I want to be a part of that. I have an aggressive spirit, and I can work with the other county commissioners to continue to make Newton County a great place to live."
Hardeman is a graduate of Newton County High School and attended Fort Valley State University and Georgia State University. He has served on various local boards and committees, including the tourism committee for the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce.
He has experience in the banking and customer service fields and currently works as a special education paraprofessional for the Newton County School System.
He is married to Eula Smith Hardeman and has four children and five grandchildren.