Candidates speak at forum

Published 11:29 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2017

By Daniel Evans

All three candidates running for position 1B on the LaGrange City Council spoke Tuesday at the Troup County Republican Women’s candidate forum at Highland Country Club.

Jim Arrington, Chuck Pitts and Luther Jones each had five minutes to make their case to voters as they ramp up campaigning for the Nov. 7 election. Nick Woodson currently holds the seat, but he is not running for re-election.

Mayor Jim Thornton also spoke at the meeting, but his opponent, Jimmy D. McCamey Jr., was not there. 

Here’s a look at what each of the candidates for council spot 1B had to say:

Jim Arrington

Arrington has been in the construction business for 28 years, but now he’s running for public office and hoping to make a difference in LaGrange. He’s lived in LaGrange since he was a young child and has raised a family in the city.

“I am running for city council because I believe I have the skills and the knowledge and business experience that can enhance the quality of life in LaGrange,” Arrington said.

Arrington said he promises three things to voters — that he will represent his district, transparency and honesty.

“I want to be on the city council, not to reinvent the wheel. I want to be on the city council to maybe put a little grease in the wheel and to continue the momentum that is going in the city of LaGrange,” Arrington said.

Luther Jones

Jones, an attorney in LaGrange, said this will be his third time running for office. The first time the election was stopped when the district line were contested, but the second time he was defeated despite receiving 43 percent of the vote.

“I still have a great taste in my mouth, and I’m trying to help LaGrange become a better place,” Jones said.

He said the city of LaGrange needs more affordable housing, and he said he will vote for lower utility rates if elected.

“LaGrange is mostly funded by the utilities. The more rooftops we get in LaGrange, the more industries we get buying utilities — I will fight for lower utility rates,” Jones said. “If there are more people buying it, then we will reduce the prices and that will help the citizens.”

Chuck Pitts

Chuck Pitts, a dentist in LaGrange, said a lot of business is moving into LaGrange, but the city must find a way to fill those positions.

“We have wonderful things coming our way but we don’t have a workforce that can fill all those jobs,” Pitts said. “The poverty situation that exists in our community is the untapped potential for that workforce.”

He said a few years ago when the economy took a dive, he was faced with difficult choices.

“When nobody wanted to do veneers anymore, I had to change my business model, so I took on Medicaid kids,” Pitts said. “I become exposed to a group of families I had never been exposed to before who desperately need our help. That’s where my passion is now.”