The Oaks golf course co-owner Nancy Schulz announced Thursday she will seek the Democratic Party nomination for District 3 Commissioner.
"If we have the right leadership, we can take Newton County to a level where our quality of life is exceptional," said Schulz, who also works part-time as a nurse practitioner at the Newton County Health Department.
Schulz is the third person to announce their candidacy for the District 3 seat. She will vie against Covington businessman Jimmy Clark for the Democratic Party nomination in June. Thus far Keith Mitcham, a local farmer, is the only Republican candidate to announce for District 3.
This is the first public office Schulz has sought. Schulz said she decided to run for office because she felt the timing was right since both of her children have graduated from Newton High School.
"I have always been a person that liked to serve," Schulz said, citing her years of involvement with Parent Teacher Organizations at her sons' schools, athletic booster clubs and the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce. "It just seemed like now is the best time to serve the county in this capacity."
A past Volunteer of the Year for the Covington YMCA, Schulz has also served as a chair of the YMCA, on the chamber's board of directors, on the chamber's tourism committee and on the chamber's Educated Workforce Roundtable.
Schulz said she believes both her professional experience as a nurse for the Health Department and as the owner of The Oaks have exposed her to the needs of the county's broad socioeconomic population. If elected, Schulz said she would bring courage and strong leadership to the Board of Commissioners.
Schulz said she would also work to see the county's recently approved Comprehensive Plan implemented.
"To me, that's where we need to start," Schulz said. "I don't think we have to reinvent the wheel."
While Schulz's Democratic opponent Jimmy Clark has said he would be in support of reducing the county's current minimum 1,800 heated square foot requirement for the construction of new homes, Schulz said she would instead favor individual communities adopting construction standards to regulate standards for new homes.
"The discussion is not about square footage," Schulz said. "The focus is community standards."
Schulz said she was very supportive of applying the Stanton Springs Industrial Park model to other areas of the county experiencing growth.
"We need to adopt that model across the county," Schulz said.
Schulz said she is a strong supporter of the county moving forward with its plans to build a reservoir at Bear Creek.
"We've waited way too long to get that in place," Schulz said. We need to go ahead and get that under way.
Schulz added she would also like to see the county practice greater water conservation.
"When we talk about preserving and protecting our water resources, I think it's really important to look at how we teach conservation," Schulz said, adding that she and her husband, Dick, recently made the decision to replace The Oaks grass with a more drought-tolerant strain in order to conserve water.
"I hate to think of tying our hands in one sector," Schulz said. "Whatever we do, has got to be good for everybody."
Schulz is a graduate of The University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University where she earned a Master's Degree. Schulz and her husband moved to Newton County in 1992, several years after purchasing The Oaks. They have a son and a daughter who are currently in college. They are members of St. Augustine Church.