Thirty six years after being elected as county commissioner for District 5, Richard English Jr. won his 10th election Tuesday, gaining 64.29 percent of votes against his opponent Nathan Gaskin. English received 333 votes while Gaskin received 185.
“It was a good election,” said English. “With the low turnout, I want to thank all the voters that got out and voted.”
English was first elected in 1978, and said over the years he has contributed to increasing the racial make up of employees in Troup County.
During his upcoming term, English said one of his focuses will be bringing jobs to the area and continue to seek a larger minority presence within those jobs.
“When I’m speaking minority, I’m talking black people,” said English. “I’m very concerned about the racial make up of the employees. Right now we’re about one-third of the population in Troup County and that’s what I want the jobs to reflect.”
He said he hopes that the group of commissioners, with Patrick Crews as the incoming commission chair, can work together as a team to make “Troup County a better place to live for everyone.”
“Once you look at it as being a county commissioner rather than a district commissioner, you can do better,” English said. “I hope he (Crews) comes in with a broad mind looking at everything and the whole picture, and not just the select group, because if you do that, there will be nothing but turmoil. And when you have turmoil in government you can’t think of the things you need to make it progress.”
A unified government will attract industries and businesses to the area, English noted. Aside from industry, English said he would also like to see the county progress with education.
Though disappointed with the low turnout of voters, English said he received good feedback from his constituents and spoke with many younger voters this year, who he said were very supportive of his campaign. The District 5 seat is the second time that he and Gaskin have campaigned for the seat.
“I’ve never campaigned ‘against’ him,” said English, adding that his campaign was never negative toward his opponent and credited his contributions as commissioner to his voters’ support.
Gaskin said his expectations of English have been heightened.
“People have to expect more from him at this point,” said Gaskin. “All these issues have come to light and I expect him to re-triple his efforts to make sure the cries of the people don’t go unanswered.”
Election results are unofficial until Friday, when provisional ballots are counted and results certified.