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Bruce Echols is a candidate running for Brooks Co. BOC District 1.

Bruce Echols hopes to represent the residents of District 1 on the Brooks County Board of Commissioners.

Echols, 51, was inspired to run because he felt he had no voice on the commission.

“People want their voices heard,” he said. “That includes commissioners coming to them to listen to their opinions, hear their concerns and understand their issues.”

Taxes are a major issue, he said, because citizens want to know where and how their tax dollars are being spent and if they are receiving the best value for them.

Well-maintained roads, good schools, fire protection and law enforcement are all issues that need to be addressed, Echols said.

If elected, Echols said he will do his part to help encourage small businesses and entrepreneurs in Brooks County.

“We want to be a place where people earn a living and spend their incomes,” he said. “We also want to draw others here to enjoy the benefits of our local businesses.”

Small business is the backbone of the economy — from farming to manufacturing — and all should be encouraged by citizens and local governments, he said.

“We need to find our niche market that our geographical position provides for us,” Echols said. “The 12 Mile Yard Sale, Third Thursday, Pikes Creek Rodeo, Peacock Festival and  Morven Peach Festival are great examples of communities drawing people from outside our county to our shops and restaurants.”

Echols has spent most of his life in Brooks County and served the community in a variety of capacities. He has served as a scoutmaster, parent-teacher organization member, volunteer firefighter, recreation coach, assistant coach for the Brooks County High School girls softball team, president of the school’s Soccer Booster Club, and coach and president of the Books County Midget League.

“I know that private and taxpayer dollars can be utilized together to create many great and wonderful opportunities to enrich our lives,” he said. “Being semi-retired affords me the time necessary to get out and work with people to find solutions to issues that affect us all. Having raised three children and having a granddaughter here in Brooks County, I am vested here for many years to come.”

Echols moved to Brooks County in 1971 and graduated from Brooks County High School in 1977.

He attended Valdosta State College before joining the United States Navy, where he attended aviation electronics school in Memphis, Tenn.

Echols served 12 years in the Navy on active duty and active reserve. He is retired from Roadway Express and works part time with the City of Quitman as a street sweeper.

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