Photos via Facebook | John Lake (left) and Joe Brown
A former and a sitting Daphne councilman will square off in the June 5 Republican primary for the District 2 seat on the Baldwin County Commission being vacated by Chris Elliot. A Democratic political newcomer will face the winner in the November general election.
Joe Davis is the current Daphne councilman in the District 7 seat and he’ll face John Lake in June. Amber Smith is the only Democratic qualifier for the District 2 seat on the commission.
Lake says his longtime involvement in city and county politics has given him the experience necessary to serve on the commission.
“I am proud to say that in 24 years as an elected official I have never used my elected position for personal gain, nor will I ever do so,” Lake said. “I have always put the citizens that I serve first, and my duty as an elected official will always be above my own personal gain.”
All three candidates believe addressing growth and the infrastructure challenges it brings will be important for Baldwin County in the next four years.
“I want to be part of a team that moves Baldwin County forward during our unprecedented growth and to provide opportunities for the next generations while maintaining and improving our quality of life,” Davis said. “All facets of county leadership include economic development, infrastructure enhancements and traffic connectivity, and stormwater runoff and environmental improvements.”
Daphne, Smith said, is a prime example of how much the county is growing, with several new subdivisions being proposed there during the past year.
“We have a neighborhood that is about to be built in Daphne with 900 homes,” Smith said. “I am not sure where they think those kids are going to go to school. We need to be sure that we can handle the growth that we are experiencing. And if that means slowing down to be sure we do this the right way, then that is what we need to be doing.”
Lake believes managing the growth will have a direct effect on quality of life in the county if it is not handled correctly.
Davis says his economic background gives him the qualities and experience to play a role in managing the burgeoning growth.
Smith said she was prompted to enter politics because of the divisive nature of partisan rhetoric in not only the county but nationwide.
“We need new, fresh, young minds that are willing to look past our party differences and work together for the people,” Smith said. “These thoughts led me to volunteer with my local party and have since led me right here, running for office. I want to see change in America. And I am going to start with Baldwin County.”