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James Deal retiring after 24 unopposed years
James Deal
James Deal

After winning a special election in 1994, Bulloch County Tax Commissioner James Deal went on to win six more terms, unopposed. But that’s it.

Deal said he is hanging up his hat and endorsing his daughter for the job. Leslie Deal Akins qualified Monday as a Republican candidate for the position, and Deal announced his retirement plans.

“I might do some volunteer work and take up fishing after 40 years,” he said. “It has been a long time.”

He said Akins told him if he didn’t run again, “she would. Leslie has worked there since 2001 and has worked about every aspect of the office.”

A special election was held in 1994 after former tax commissioner Carlene Johnson left in mid-term.

Before winning that election, Deal served 21 years as a senior staff attorney with Dabbs, Deal, Hickman and Cannon Accounting, following three previous years with TJ Morris as office manager.

He graduated from Georgia Southern college in 1969 with a general business degree, and was a Portal High School graduate. While Attending GSU he worked with the registrar’s and post officer, helping fund his way through classes, he said.

Married to wife Carolyn for almost 48 years, Deal is a member of the Georgia Association of Tax Officials (GATO) and served as district leader from 2006-2018, and on the property tax and mobile home committees.

He is a charter brother in the Sigma Pi fraternity, and has been a member of Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church since 1967, serving as deacon since 1976 and clerk and treasurer since 1992.

He is also a member of the Bulloch County Historical Society and served 2011-2019 treasurer. A member of the Statesboro Kiwanis Club since 1985 he has served as treasurer and on the scholarship, finance committees and Board of Directors.

In 2001 he was named Kiwanian of the Year, and is a George Hickson Fellow. He also served as lieutenant governor for the GSC Circle K Club. He served on the Exchange Club Board of directors, and as a chairman of the finance committee; a member of the Homebound Services, Inc. for six years, as president for the past two years.

He says he has enjoyed his tenure with the Bulloch County Tax Commissioner’s Office.

“I appreciate the people keeping me here,” he said. “I hope I brought integrity and professionalism into the office.”

The Bulloch County Primary election is May 19.


Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.




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