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Posted: July 21, 2010 12:10 a.m.

J.C. Henderson elected to 5th term

Democratic incumbent J.C. Henderson was elected to a fifth consecutive term as District 4 county commissioner Tuesday, defeating challenger Kenneth Hardeman by gathering 56.63 percent of the 1,049 votes cast.

"This was definitely the hardest election I've ever had; it was an uphill fight," Henderson said, thanking God. "He made it happen."
Henderson is the longest serving county commissioner, having been first elected in 1996.

During the campaign he emphasized his prior accomplishments, asking voters to support him based on his record. He talked about helping senior citizens gain tax-exempt status, a goal which was finally accomplished when 87 percent of residents voted in favor of a senior citizen homestead exemption on the 2008 ballot.

He also emphasized his involvement on the Newton County Recreation Commission to expand kids programs, and his push to bring more community services to District 4.

Henderson said one of his shining moments was the 2005 SPLOST, when he secured funding for the renovation of Wolverine Field and the old Cousins gymnasium, as well as the Nelson Heights Community Center. The hope is for all three buildings to become community gathering points.

Henderson said he also worked hard previously to help build the Turner Lake recreation complex, and to renovate the old Cousins High School, which now contains Troy University, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Covington-Newton County 911 Center.
He said in addition to continuing his push to expand services, Henderson hopes to help bring more jobs to his district. He said the unemployment rate is in double digits in many areas, but could be 15 percent or higher in Covington's poorer areas.

He said he wants to hold public hearings on whether the county should change its alcohol ordinance to allow liquor-by-the-drink sales.

Hardeman, a member of the county's planning commission, said he plans to continue to serve in that capacity. He said he hasn't decided if he will run again in 2014, but he feels that the residents want change and competition.

"I feel good about what we did and the campaign we ran. We ran an honest campaign, and stayed on the high road. We gave the people a choice and the people have spoken. I want to say by the numbers it was incumbent there was a desire for change in District 4, but it wasn't enough to make an actual change," Hardeman said.

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