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Second candidate vying for District 5 commissioner's seat
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Tim Fleming, son of District 3 Commissioner Ester Fleming, has announced his intentions to run for the District 5 commissioner seat this November as a Republican.

Fleming's opponent, Randy Vinson, an environmental design instructor for UGA, announced his candidacy as a Democrat for the District 5 seat in February. Current District 5 Commissioner Monty Laster has said he will not seek re-election.

"I'm a native of Newton County," Fleming said. "I'm starting a family. I want to preserve Newton County for future generations to come."

Fleming is currently employed as government and regulatory affairs director for KLiP Communications. Fleming said his job brings him into contact with municipalities and counties across the Southeast who are working to develop their infrastructure needs.

Thanking Laster for his years of work on the Board of Commissioners, Fleming, 25, said if elected he would work to attract greater commercial growth to the county, plan for future quality growth and would work to ensure the Bear Creek Reservoir becomes a reality.

"That is the most logical option we have on the table now," Fleming said of the reservoir.

Despite the current recession and the likelihood the county will see a decrease this year in revenue from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, Fleming said he believed, with careful management and budgeting, the county should not have to raise its millage rate.

"I do not support tax increases," Fleming said. "I think as long as we continue to wisely budget our needs, we can keep the millage rate as is."

Fleming said he would work closely with the county's state delegation to Atlanta on correcting the county's transportation problems. Fleming said he was a strong supporter of using the SPLOST to fund local road improvements.

"The county needs to continue to work close with the chamber," Fleming said. "We have an abundance of opportunities [to attract commercial growth]."

Citing his past work with the campaigns of former U.S. Rep. Mac Collins (R-Georgia), State Senator Brian Kemp (R-Athens) and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Fleming said he felt he would be ready to serve "on day one" if elected.

Fleming said he made the decision to run for commissioner on his own, adding his father was very supportive when he informed him of his intentions to run. Ester Fleming has said he will not seek re-election to District 3.

"My father has always been an influence," Fleming said. "I will always go to him for advice but I am my own person. I have my own views. I have my own opinions."

In addition to his work on political campaigns, Fleming said he has volunteered his time with the March of Dimes and organizations that assist adults with learning disabilities.

Fleming attended George Walton Academy. He is a graduate of UGA where he earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science. Fleming is newly married to his wife Lacey. He is a member of Zion Baptist Church.

"When I'm elected I will do my best to serve the constituents of the county," Fleming said. "I will have an open-door policy."