Paul McCorkle wants to become an elected official.
The 55-year-old Mr. McCorkle, owner and president of Interstate Equipment Company in Thomson, is seeking the District 2, Seat A post on the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners.
The position currently is held by Commissioner Darryl Wester, who decided not to seek re-election to a third four-year term. Mr. McCorkle is being challenged for the seat by John Seay.
This marks the second time that Mr. McCorkle, who was born and raised in McDuffie County, has sought political office. He launched an unsuccessful bid to become a commissioner back in 1996.
He is hoping that will change when voters decide the candidate of their choice on July 15.
"I want to become a commissioner, because I believe I can truly make a difference," Mr. McCorkle said. "I promise to serve all of the people of McDuffie County and be responsive to their needs and concerns. Above all, I want to treat them in a fair manner and to be compassionate."
Because Mr. McCorkle has been a successful businessman, he believes he would make a good public servant.
"I know how to operate a business, manage people, set up a budget and meet payroll," Mr. McCorkle said. "It's no different than how government operates."
Mr. McCorkle, who served four years in the U.S. Navy after graduation from Thomson High School in 1970, later attended Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Tifton for two years before transferring to the University of Georgia in Athens. He graduated from UGA in 1977 with a degree in agriculture economics.
In 1981, he purchased the old Borders' Case Tractor Company, renamed the business Interstate Equipment Company and relocated it near Interstate-20, off Seymour Drive.
Today, his oldest son, Jon, 27, who serves as vice-president of the company, handles most of the day-to-day operations, according to Mr. McCorkle. It allows Mr. McCorkle time for other interests.
"If I am elected to the county commission, I would have the time to devote to the needs of the county and the people of McDuffie County," Mr. McCorkle said.
He pointed out that when he is elected to the commission panel, he will work with existing state agencies "to hopefully ensure" that they stay in McDuffie County and not be forced to leave like the Georgia State Patrol post.
"What happened with the Georgia State Patrol should never have happened," Mr. McCorkle said. "It happened because some of our officials dropped the ball and we ended up losing the patrol post."
In 2010, the Georgia State Patrol post will move to a new facility near the Grovetown exit of Interstate-20. At that time, he believes there will be the need for additional deputies to be hired for the sheriff's department.
"We're definitely going to need more deputies when the state patrol leaves the county," Mr. McCorkle said.
Meanwhile, he wants other state agencies to stay in McDuffie County.
"I want to work closely with the other state agencies, such as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Department of Natural Resources to insure we keep them in our county," Mr. McCorkle said.
He also feels strongly about McDuffie Regional Medical Center.
"Our hospital has been around a long time," Mr. McCorkle said. "I was born there in 1952 and I want to support it anyway that I can."
Mr. McCorkle said he would work to attract new clean industry and jobs to the county. He also said he is supportive of the proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax V and a city/county government complex.
Mr. McCorkle is married to Bonnie McCorkle, who is co-owner of Peacock Hill in Thomson. Their youngest son, Jason, attends the University of Georgia. The family are members of First Methodist Church of Thomson.