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Candidate wants to be voice of change
Jerald Burgess - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
When Jerald Burgess walked into the Liberty County Voter Registration Office a few weeks ago to qualify for the Liberty County sheriff's race, he entered the building with one purpose in mind -- to be the voice of change he believes people are seeking.
The 51-year-old Hinesville resident said he'd pondered the idea of running for office for some time because of his concern about the county's crime rate, but it was not until he began listening to the conversations of other citizens he decided to make the leap into politics.
"What made me decide to actually jump in the race was the citizens of Liberty County. They have articulated to me that they are looking for change in the county," Burgess, a Democrat, said. "And when I say change, they want to see Liberty County be safer and a better place to raise up their families."
A retired military police office, Burgess said he is "a man of very high integrity" who is not "afraid to get out there and initiate the methods to make a change" and will bring problem-solving skills to the sheriff's seat.
"Some of the problems we have (in the county) are drugs, gangs and other things...and I want to come in and offer solutions to those problems," he said. "Some of the solutions are making people better educated. Educating people on what's going on, why it's going on and how it's going the who, what, when and where of the crimes."
Burgess, a former employee at the Liberty County Jail and current owner of Faithful and True Lawn Service, plans to layout the full scope of his platform in coming months, but for now wants voters to know all of his initiatives are "to create a safer Liberty County."
He said these plans would be rolled out to the community through area canvassing and by attending local events to meet and talk with residents who may not be familiar with him.
With the county's partisan primaries just two months away, Burgess said the next few weeks are going to be busy as he tries to distinguish himself from the other four Democrats and two Republicans running for sheriff, but he is looking forward to it.
"I'm excited and looking forward to getting out there and meeting and greeting the people," he said. "I think (the number of people running) is going to make it more exciting because I love a challenge."
The candidate, who is also an ordained minister, is confident he can pullout a victory, but added he would not be completely upset if he loses because of his faith.
"I told (my sister), 'If I don't win, then maybe God's got something more grander in the scheme of things for me to do,'" Burgess said.
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