Vying to fulfill a long-time professional goal, Jo Coggins is seeking election to the Rockdale County Coroner's position on the Republican ticket and continue a career focused on helping people in their time of need.
Coggins has been a deputy coroner for the past 14 years, and has been in and out of the medical field since 1976. Currently working at Rockdale Medical Center as a unit secretary, her resume includes experience as an EMT/paramedic and an emergency room technician. She said she hopes to use her love of helping people to achieve a goal she set for herself when she joined the coroner's office in 1998 and especially after she was awarded "Deputy Coroner of the Year" by the Georgia Coroners Association in 2007.
"I enjoy being able to help people," Coggins said. "You have families that have just lost someone and they are hurt and confused. I want to be there to help make the transition from death to letting go a little bit easier."
Coggins said she respects the efficiency and professionalism the coroner's office operates by and plans to continue the same level of service provided by Coroner Dr. Steve Boyle, who is retiring at the end of the year after 16 years as coroner.
"I believe I am the most qualified to do the job of coroner and, if elected, I will work to maintain a professional, honest, caring, and respectful office just as it was under Dr. Boyle," Coggins said.
Coggins and her husband Grady, a local business owner, have lived in Rockdale County for 25 years with their son Jake, a Corporal with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.
Though she says the office currently has the necessary staff and equipment, she would like to see the coroner's office acquire a building to house its own office capable of having a morgue for storing bodies. She would also like to see the hard working deputy coroners that are on-call 24 hours a day receive a salary increase.
"For me death is a continuation of life. You are born, you live, you die," Coggins said. "Everyone is going to die someday, and may there always be someone like me to be there for them. I take my job seriously, but I also take it personally. I have cried many times with and for family members. I'm not a politician and I don't like politics, but I do want this job. I love my job and I love Rockdale County."
For more information, Coggins can be reached through the coroner's office or on Facebook at 'JoCogginsforCoroner'.