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May 27--  Vidalia attorney Blake Tillery is running for Chairman of the Toombs County Commission.

{mosimage}"Basically, I feel the people of Toombs County are looking for someone to head the county government whom they feel they can talk to and also for someone with a vision for the future.  I think our campaign provides both," he said.

Tillery announced his decision Monday to run in the Republican primary election scheduled for July 31.

Two other possible candidates for the seat are incumbent Buddy West and former Toombs County chairman James Thompson.  West says he's "still debating" whether to seek re-election and Thompson says there's "a strong possibility" he will run for the office again.

Tillery, who is 28, believes he can handle the job.  "I think Chess Fountain was 28 when he first ran for county clerk and Greg Morris was 28 when he ran for the county commission the first time as well.  I do think I provide a different perspective.  I grew up here, went to Vidalia High School, played ball here, went to the University of Georgia and got a law degree and came home.  I can look at our community and remember people who make decisions ten and twenty years ago and before that, forty and fifty years ago, who are the reasons we are where we are today.  There's a reason why our community continued to grow where others didn't and if we don't continue to make those forward-looking decisons, we, too, could fall by the wayside," Tillery says.

Tillery promises more cooperation between the county and its three cities if he is elected.

"We need to make sure we're working together to promote economic development for job creation.  That's the biggest thing in our community. Our citizens aren't worried about street lights being turned off, they're worried about putting food on the table.  What can we as a county government do to support them.   That and providing an accessible, user-friendly county government.  The people want someone heading our county government who they feel they can talk to," he said.

Tillery's campaign finance chairman is Dr. Wayne Williams and the candidate says they're off to a strong start with fund raising.

Qualifying for the July primary opens May 23rd and closes May 25th.