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Seay brings government experience to race for county commission seat

John H. Seay wants to be one of the next commissioners of McDuffie County.

The 60-year-old Mr. Seay is seeking political office for the first time. A year and a half ago, he was appointed to the McDuffie County Hospital Authority - a position that he still holds today.

Mr. Seay is a retired special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and once served as special agent in-charge of the GBI Region 7 office in Thomson. He spent a total of 28 years with the state's top law enforcement agency, having retired in October 1999.

He and his wife, Linda, have made Thomson their home for the past 18 years.

Mr. Seay noted that when he came to Thomson several years ago that he noticed something immediately unique about the area.

"Everybody just seemed to get along so well with each other, as far as elected officials were concerned," Mr. Seay said. "I've never been anywhere in the state and seen that kind of cooperation between government officials."

Mr. Seay, who also serves as a bailiff for the Toombs Judicial Circuit judges, said he knew immediately that McDuffie County was the kind of place that he and his wife would like to call home.

"The officials worked together - city and county," he explained. "They pitched in to help one another. They worked in a concerted effort to make life better for the people of McDuffie County. I used to tell folks when I first moved here and witnessed what kind of cooperation existed between government officials that they needed to bottle it and sell it."

Today, Mr. Seay said he is proud that city and county officials still continue to work together for a better McDuffie County and that he wants to be a part of such cooperation as an elected official himself.

Mr. Seay is vying for the District 2 Seat A commission post, which currently is held by Commissioner Darryl Wester. Mr. Wester decided not to seek re-election after serving for eight years. Mr. Seay is being opposed by fellow Republican Paul McCorkle.

The election is slated for July 15.

Mr. Seay said he favors "managed growth" where the future of the county is concerned.

"Growth is coming whether we like it or we don't and we must plan for it," Mr. Seay said.

As a hospital authority member, Mr. Seay says McDuffie Regional Medical Center is a big asset to McDuffie County, as well as several surrounding counties.

"We cannot let our hospital falter," Mr. Seay said, adding he would have liked to have seen more proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax V (SPLOST) funding geared towards the hospital. "We need to get our hospital approved as a critical access care facility."

As for other concerns involving proposed spending of the local sales tax, if approved by voters later this year, Mr. Seay said he supports the idea of a city/county government complex.

"I'm all for it," Mr. Seay said. "I think it's something that is badly needed, because our current courthouse isn't big enough and it lacks the kind of security measures that are needed in today's times."

Mr. Seay said he was opposed to the spending of SPLOST funds for a proposed $300,000 skateboard park and a $690,000 Olympic swimming pool.

"I see a lot of potential liability and maintenance in regards to both of those ideas," Mr. Seay said.

Describing himself as a "fiscal conservative," Mr. Seay said he wants to see McDuffie County continue to grow and prosper.

He and his wife, a homemaker, attend Pine Grove Baptist Church.

Web posted on Thursday, July 03, 2008

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