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Hayes deserves second term

In the race for commissioner, Lawrence County voters will have two choices — A Republican incumbent seeking his second full term and a Democrat who is throwing his hat into the political ring for the first time.

Incumbent Freddie Hayes Jr. will face off against Tim Edwards on Tuesday in what will likely be a close race.

Both candidates have attended political forums across the county and it is clear each knows the biggest issues plaguing Lawrence County — jobs and the county jail move.

Hayes and Edwards are also both successful businessmen who have proven in the private sector they know how to manage funds, which makes them both viable candidates for handling the county’s budget.

Hayes does have the edge over Edwards in terms of political experience; he has about a term and a half under his belt and has been involved in some of the most important and controversial decisions the county has been faced with, including the decision to relocate the county jail to the former Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility in Franklin Furnace, the merger of 911 dispatching with the sheriff’s office and voting to save the fair barn project.

Hayes has also been true to his word when it comes to being fiscally conservative with the county’s money; the budget has seen a $1 million carryover the past two years. He has also worked with economic leaders to bring larger businesses to the county, including Heiner’s Bakery and Superior Marine, along with a new wellness facility that is in the early stages of being built.

Edwards is right on the money about Lawrence Countians needing higher paying jobs and training, and his desire to see the county succeed seems to be sincere. And in two years, Edwards should run for the seat again.

But Hayes has shown during his time in office he has what it takes to work with his fellow commissioners to make tough decisions and see them through.

That’s why Hayes deserves a second-term and the support of the voters in Lawrence County.