A new Peach County commissioner will be chosen this primary season, while the candidates for another post get started in a race that will be decided in November.
Democrats Betty C. Hill, 63, and Kristie Kenney, 40, are running for Post 3, which Michael Dinkins is vacating to run for the state House of Representatives.
Republican Michael Gilstrap, 65, is running against incumbent Melvin Walker, a 65-year-old Democrat, for Post 5, at-large. Since neither has a party opponent, they will face off in November.
Because there arent any Republicans on the Post 3 ballot, the decision voters make July 31 will most likely be the posts next Peach County commissioner.
Hill, a retired educator, said shes running for commissioner because it would allow her to make a difference in Peach County in a different way.
Hill was a teacher for more than 30 years and has participated in community organizations, such as Boys &Girls Clubs and the NAACP. She served as president of the Peach County chapter of the Georgia Association of Educators for 10 years. She is now the vice chairwoman of the Peach County Democrats.
Kenney is a program coordinator at Fort Valley State University who wants to solve some of the issues her hometown faces.
I do see the potential of what Peach County has to offer for Middle Georgia, she said.
Kenney owns All Stars Footwear & Apparel in downtown Fort Valley and started the nonprofit Peach Academy Kids, Inc. to provide a place for children when the school board went to a four-day school week.
I have a vested interest in the community, she said.
Kenney said her primary goal as a commissioner would be to implement an economic development plan that would install either a theme park or amusement park into the area.
We are perfectly geographically positioned to make some additions for recreational activities, Kenney said, adding its an idea that has been discussed but not pushed. I want to go beyond just parks and recreation (and) draw families to this area.
Kenney said she would also push to finish the sewer extension to southwest Peach County, as did Hill.
Hill said she aims to keep taxes low and develop a solution for residents who have told her their tap water isnt drinkable.
To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.