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County CEO announces reelection bid
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County Commission Chairman and CEO Richard Oden recently confirmed that he would be running for reelection in 2012.

 “I made the decision the day I won the race (in 2008), but I didn’t want to disclose the information,” Oden told the News. “I wanted to focus my full attention on getting this county into a better position.”

 Oden will be holding a campaign kickoff and meet and greet event on Saturday, Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m. at the Corner Market. A website for his reelection campaign has been set up at His campaign manager is Rhonda Taylor.

 “My campaign theme is the four-R concept: Reuniting, rebuilding, reenergizing Rockdale,” said Oden.

 He listed monitoring the recently passed SPLOST, transportation initiatives, implementing master plans, and leveraging local, state and national relationships for Rockdale County as some of the goals for another term.

 “Even despite the downturn in the economy, despite a lot of negativity, a lot of obstacles, we have obtained some huge accomplishments. I looked around me and said stay the course. I want to make sure Rockdale County is prosperous in the future,” he said.

 Oden said the timing of his announcement was not triggered by announcements from other candidates.

 “I’m not concerned with other people and what they do. The timing is on point. We decided last year we were going to do this at this time regardless of who announced.”

 Democratic candidate Brian Jenkins previously announced his intention to run for the CEO seat on the Democratic ticket and will face Oden for the Democratic primary.

 For the Republican primary, current Board of Education member Brad Smith announced he would run for the seat as well as Lakeview Action Committee founder and Mercy Heart Executive Director Ed Conway.