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One county race will go the distance

The sole Republican in this year’s Liberty County elections is vying for the District 4 seat on the Liberty County Commission.

The race will run until November.

Ace Construction owner Ted Eby is running against Democrat incumbent Pat Bowen, a retired tree surgeon, in one of only two contested Liberty BoC races.

Bowen is serving his 14th year on the commission, his only post in public office.

Eby is a political newcomer who said the long build-up to the general election on Nov. 6 provides more opportunity for constituents to get to know him.

“I’ve started communicating with the residents in my district, letting them know who I am and that I’m running for office,” Eby said. “I’m excited to meet everyone as I continue campaigning.”

Eby has never held public office before. He touts his relationships with wife Linda and their two daughters among his top achievements.

The Shamokin, Penn., native moved who to Midway 18 years ago, built his business from the ground-up, he said. For the past 25 years, Eby has owned his own business as a contractor and builder.

Eby said his platform includes working together with the community, listening to community concerns and opinions and keeping the office “as transparent as possible.”

“I am a man of integrity, honesty and I will work with my constituents — not against them,” Eby said. “My goal as commissioner will be to make Liberty County a better place to work, live and play. I believe we need to create jobs for people that live in the county and keep those jobs here.”

Bowen said his proudest achievements include being a part of the 2011 completion of the Liberty County Justice Center and helping “everyday stuff” like road maintenance, drainage and erosion control come to fruition.

Bowen said one of the job’s greatest rewards is interacting with the people affected by the county, whether it’s meeting newcomers or fostering old relationships.

“I like to serve the public. I like to serve the people,” he said. “I was raised here, went to school here and I’ll die right here in Liberty County. This is my home, and I like getting out there and doing what I can for the 4th District.”

During several meetings, Bowen has expressed a reluctance to ask taxpayers for more money, whether through raising the millage rate or by switching to a paid fire protection force for the county.

He also has expressed concern for business owners, especially during conversations with former District 2 commissioner and chairman candidate Donald Lovette, who suggested that codes should require private landowners to better maintain properties along Highway 84.

Requests for further comment from Bowen were unsuccessful at press time.

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