Redbone race heating up - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Redbone race heating up

August 5, 2004


Redbone District-- Each candidate in a Lee County Commission runoff say his opponent is spreading lies.

Incumbent Jackie McCorkle says Wally Roberts is misinformed about how he is spending the county's money. McCorkle says in a recent interview Roberts threw out incorrect figures regarding the golf course, fire department , and EMS budgets he had voted on.

Roberts says he got the information from the public minutes of a county commission meeting, "I don't really know what the figures are cause I am not a commissioner but if I am elected I will find out and if it is an asset, I'll keep it, if it is not, I will try to do something with it." 

McCorkle says,  "Look at the budget, if you are going to use the budget against me, use the correct ones. If you are going to say the budget has increased, get the numbers correct." 

But, what's become the hot button issue in the runoff race was actually a non-issue in the primary. Anonymous fliers and campaign signs popping up in the Redbone District are changing the tone of the race. The issue: Mobile home parks.

Drive down Philema Road, and you'll soon see what is stirring up controversy in the Redbone District, "The sign down at the county line says vote no for trailers vote yes for Jackie," says McCorkle.

McCorkle says he has always fought to keep mobile home communities out of his district, "My opponent does own a mobile home park and he has kept that a secret in this campaign."

Roberts says, "I do own a mobile home park.  I bought an existing mobile home park that was built in 1970 on U.S. 19 when it was a two lane road and nothing was out there."

Wally Roberts says just because he owns a mobile home park doesn't mean he will build more of them, "I was on the planning commission a few years ago and the last two years I was chairman, and if I wanted to put a mobile home in Redbone I could have done it then. I have never done it."

McCorkle says, "I know he is a member of the mobile home association.  It is called the Lee County Land Development Association.  There are eight members and they lobby for the interests of mobile home parks." Roberts says the group hasn't met in three years.

Roberts says McCorkle is trying to distract voters from the real issues, "He is diverting everything. That's the tactic he is using. Evidently he is running scared because I come out with the most votes in the primary."

It's to be seen whether voters will be influenced by this latest debate, or whether they'll think it is just a lot of hot air.

Interestingly, Commissioner Jackie McCorkle accepted a $500 dollar campaign donation from a Lee County mobile home park owner, Darrel Ealum. But McCorkle says that donation does not make him beholden to Ealum.

Posted at 4:15 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

 

 

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