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Posted: October 30, 2012 9:06 p.m.

Candidate’s voting history questioned

Candidates were given the chance to question each other at the recent forum put on by The Covington News and Chamber of Commerce, and District 5 board of commissioners Democratic candidate Marcello Banes used the opportunity to question the voting record, or lack thereof, of Republican opponent Levie Maddox.

"We have both said that we wanted to be a voice for the community and constituents in District 5. The voting record shows that you haven't voted in the last 10 years. What is your plan to involve the constituents in District 5 with the decision making in local government, since we both want to be a voice for this district?" Banes asked at the forum.

At the request of The News, Banes provided a copy of Maddox's voting record, which was pulled from VoteBuilder.com, to The News.

The site shows that Maddox voted in the 1998 and 2000 General Elections, the 2000 runoff and a 1999 city election. He did not vote again until this year's primary and primary runoff, in which he is currently seeking office.

At the forum, Maddox responded to Banes' question and addressed his voting record.

"I think I've shown over the last six months to the constituents that I've got an incredibly good ear. I'm a very good listener and I think the county citizens will see pretty soon that I apply, not always agreeing, but will listen and apply what the community wants," Maddox said at the forum.
"You see, there are 80 people here. There are quite a few citizens who haven't voted during the last few years and I'm one of those.

"I think over the last number of years, from 1998 to 2009, I was either on the road or completely focused in Atlanta in a corporate position six days a week or sometimes seven days week. That's not a good answer, but the right answer is I recognize that. I've gotten involved heavily throughout the years in a private manner, in an anonymous manner, from time to time.

"I think the county will very easily recognize that I understand diversity from the community all the way up to local business owners, small business owners, to large manufacturers. I understand why Hunter (Hall) and Roger (Harrison, with the chamber) go on those trips and build relationship with recruiters and the state government and even locally. I've got to build consensus and build relationships and then move forward by listening to them," he said.

Asked if he wanted to add anything else Tuesday, Maddox said the bottom line was that he did a lot of traveling and was focused on his family and providing for his family and moving up in the corporate world. He said during the 2004 election, he had a very tough travel schedule in the fall and in 2008, he "was at the precinct, there were issues at the precinct and I did not vote."

"With me being back in town throughout the entire day, I again promise my dedication to the citizens and to make choices for the betterment of the community. I've said all along on the trail that no one recruited me. I got involved and threw my name in the hat out of personal interest and that goes right back to the good of the community," Maddox said.

Maddox's question to Banes
Maddox also had the opportunity to ask a question of Banes. Citing his multiple experience in the corporate world, Maddox asked Banes, "As far as professional experience what do you have there?"

"I also run a small business. I deal with budgets, I deal with employees. We deal with million, billion dollar companies. My experience is that I can run a business. Not only that, my experience as minister, I can work well with people," Banes said at the forum. "People with different beliefs, backgrounds, people that come from different walks of life."

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