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May 7, 2011

Keown declares candidacy for county commission seat

THOMASVILLE — Mike Keown said Saturday he will seek the District 4 Thomas County Commission seat to be decided later this year.

A special election will be called to fill the post vacated upon the death of Louis Rehberg, District 4 commissioner, in late April.

Keown, a Republican, said that in the past few years, he has become convinced that the best public-policy decisions are made “closest to home.”

A former Coolidge mayor, Thomas County Board of Education member and state representative, Keown last year sought the District 2 congressional seat in a heated, close election lost to the incumbent, Sanford Bishop, D-Albany.

Keown said his experience in previous offices reflects his commitment to local control.

Describing Rehberg as a good man who served with distinction, Keown said he would continue a tradition of thoughtful, common-sense representation in District 4.

“I’ve never been concerned about the size of the stage I serve on,” said Keown, 56 and a Coolidge resident since 1983.

Noting that he “barley missed’ winning the congressional seat, Keown said, “That’s over and done with, and I‘m ready to find another place to serve.”

He wants to serve the community at any level — local, state or national.

The current District 4 commission term expires Dec. 31, 2012. If the person elected this year wishes to continue to serve in the post, the individual must seek re-election next year.

“If I’m elected to serve on the county commission, my intention is to run for re-election in 2012,” Keown told the Times-Enterprise.

He said he is not considering another run for Congress, adding that his involvement in politics has been what the Lord led him to do. “I never say never,” Keown said.

Pastor of Coolidge Memorial Baptist Church, Keown said he is a simple person, happiest at home and content to serve as District 4 county commissioner — “if they want me to.”

 

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