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Posted: November 3, 2010 12:04 a.m.

BOC District 2 - Winner: Lanier Sims

"It feels great, just to know the race is over and behind me. I want to thank God first, then I want to thank the three ladies in my life, my wife, mother and my sister. I couldn’t do it without them," Sims said in a phone interview following the election. "I also want to thank Rickie Corley for being a standup guy and running a clean race."

Sims garnered 2,932 votes and Corley 2,837. Both candidates were pleased with the strong turnout and credited their ability to cross party lines. Sims said he thought the difference was just the fact he got out to a few more homes.

"It was about getting out there to the people and showing them your side of the story, showing what you want to accomplish and getting as much input from them as possible," Sims said. "I wanted to reach across party lines, because every day I’m going to be representing District 2 as a whole."

Corley, who was on the Board of Education for three terms, said he will run for office again if he feels that leadership is needed.

"If something else comes up I will try to fill that need. I’m committed to better government and prosperity that comes from better government," Corley said in a phone interview Tuesday night. "I hope everything works out (after this election) and we move on from that."

Sims, 35, owns two businesses: Sims Excavating, a construction business he has owned since 1996 after taking it over from his father, and Southern Homes Unlimited, a business that helps residents facing foreclosure and other complicated real estate problems, which he co-owns with his wife, Bionca.

He said previously that his priorities are being a more visible commissioner, helping his district avoid sprawl, bringing in businesses, improving traffic congestion and maintaining public safety.

He also said he supports allowing alcohol-by-the-drink sales in the county, as long as any ordinance encourages restaurants and prevents the formation of bars.

Sims holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from DeVry University. He has served on the Newton County Planning Commission for more than a year.

He defeated Democratic incumbent Earnest Simmons in July’s Primary Election. To prepare for his role as commissioner, Sims said he plans to get out and talk to people in December and sign up for the mandatory county commissioner classes he has to attend.

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