Three Twiggs County Commission posts contested in November

jkovac@macon.comOctober 11, 2012 

  • Twiggs County Commission Candidates


    Ken Fowler
    Age: 63
    Party: Democrat
    Occupation: Truck driver, insurance
    Political experience: Former Probate Court judge, Magistrate Court judge, deputy coroner

    Glen Christopher
    Age: 52
    Party: Republican
    Occupation: Information security manager at Robins Air Force Base
    Political experience: None;

    District 1:

    Tommie Lee Bryant
    Age: 65
    Party: Democrat
    Occupation: Incumbent, retired from Robins Air Force Base
    Political experience: Served as District 1 commissioner since 1980s

    Brett Cummings
    Age: 49
    Party: Republican
    Occupation: Former trucker who now teaches truck driving and sells motorcycle parts
    Political experience: None

    District 4:

    Steve Birdsong
    Age: 57
    Party: Democrat
    Occupation: Heavy-equipment mechanic
    Political experience: None

    Donald Watson
    Age: 75
    Party: Republican
    Occupation: Commercial real estate appraiser; Christmas tree farmer
    Political experience: Three terms as commissioner in 1980s and ’90s

Most of the men running for three contested posts on the Twiggs County Commission say they hope to turn their county around.

They want to improve education, attract industry and revive the economy in a long-struggling pocket of the midstate that is home to about 9,000 residents.

Brett Cummings, running against longtime District 1 incumbent Tommie Lee Bryant, said, “We don’t have a taxing problem. We have a spending problem.”

Cummings, a political newcomer promoting “character” and “fiscal responsiblity,” said his chances to win are “slim,” but that he can’t stand seeing the county “borrowing money to pay their bills” and commissioners “arguing among themselves.”

Bryant, who has been in office since the 1980s, declined to talk to The Telegraph about the race.

In the race for the commission chairmanship, Republican Glen Christopher said he wants to balance the county’s budget, trim taxes and slash “wasteful spending ... and bring Twiggs County up to the 21st century.”

Christopher said he hopes to encourage “more of a family environment” with more festivals and “strengthening education” will “make people want to live in Twiggs.”

Ken Fowler, the Democratic candidate up for the chairman’s seat, said, “The main thing I see needing addressing is ... people knowing where their tax money’s going. ... And running things honest and fair.”

Fowler said he’d like to see more jobs for locals.

“We need something to come to this county that will put the people in Twiggs County to work,” he said, “where they won’t have to go out of this county.”

The Twiggs District 4 contest pits Democrat Steve Birdsong against Republican Donald Watson.

Birdsong, the son of noted late Georgia legislator Ken Birdsong, said that if elected, he would try to live up to his father’s legacy.

“I want to follow in my daddy’s footsteps and get things done,” he said. “I’m just trying to live up to his legacy.”

Birdsong said he isn’t out to win the $6,000-a-year job for the paycheck. He wants to get roads paved and grass cut, fix the budget, bring in business and see to it that students are “job-ready” when they graduate.

Watson meanwhile, noting his dozen years of past experience as a commissioner and an open-door policy, said, “I think I probably have a good knowledge of how to get things done.”

Watson opposes expansion of the Wolf Creek Landfill and says the most pressing issue is the county debt and its high millage rate.

“It’s in desperate financial condition,” he said.

To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.

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