Political races heat up in Bainbridge - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Political races heat up in Bainbridge

June 19, 2008

Bainbridge-- Political signs are everywhere you look in Bainbridge. People packed into the Kiwanis meeting Thursday to hear what the candidates had to say. 

Some offices won't be decided until November.

Two candidates are running against incumbent democrat tax commissioner Don Belcher.  "I started out as a book keeper, 8 years. Then the tax commissioner left, he retired, and I finished out his 2 years remaining," said Belcher.   

Five and a half years as tax commissioner, 14 years total in the office, Belcher says his experience makes him the most qualified.

But his opponents, Michelle Barfield-West and Dan West both say its time for a change.  "I know a big concern is the payment process. I've had a lot of people concerned about that," said Barfield-West, a democrat.   

Republican Dan West added, "Mailing a check in is not where we need to be it's not where we are now. I want to have online services where our county residents can go online and pull their taxes up, pay their taxes and tags online."

But Belcher says the numbers don't lie when it comes to his success at the job.  "I have a real good percentage collection. It's 99.71%.  I don't know where that stands in the state but its got to be up there pretty good."

Also on the ballot for July is the Democrat party for county coroner where Tyrone Jacobs will run against Peter Bruton.  Allen Ware is running as a Republican.

Patsy Rentz will face Cecilia Willis, both democrats to become the new Clerk of Courts.

Offices on the November 4th ballot include the race for District Attorney, the general Coroner election and county commission seats for districts two, three, and five.

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