Jose Granados, a local businessman, is vying to become a member of Thomson City Council in the city's upcoming November election.
The 35-year-old Mr. Granados, owner of Amigo's Mexican Restaurant in Thomson, will be opposed by Bernice Brown, director of the McDuffie County Head Start Program. Both candidates are seeking the C-3 council seat, which currently is filled by Councilman John T. Wiley. Mr. Wiley decided not to seek re-election.
"The main reason I'm running for city council is because I like the community and the people who live here," Mr. Granados said. "It's so special to live and work in a community like Thomson - where the people are very tight-knit and seem to enjoy working together."
For the past 16 years, Mr. Granados has lived in Thomson. At the age of 19, he opened his own restaurant. Today, he and his wife, Hermila, own and operate the restaurant, located on Washington Road.
"I want to see the city continue to grow and have good leadership," Mr. Granados said. "That's one of the reasons for my running for this office."
Mr. Granados said, if elected, he plans to vote his conscience.
He explained that he supports annexation, as well as downtown revitalization and a proposed city/county government center.
"I'd like to see Thomson become bigger by annexing," Mr. Granados said. "As far downtown revitalization, I'm all for it. I think it's a great project. It's a way of attracting more business downtown and providing more jobs. I think it will be better for economic development."
When it comes to building a new city/county government center, Mr. Granados said he favors the idea as long as officials are able to find ways to fund it.
"I understand that's a concern right now - is how the center will be funded," Mr. Granados added. "I like the idea. I think it would be good for Thomson and McDuffie County."
Mr. Granados and his wife have two sons, Jose III, 16, a sophomore at Thomson High School and Daniel, 11, a sixth grader at Thomson Middle School.