When he was very young, Jonathan Paine worked in a family funeral service business, and he has always known he was drawn to helping people. That is one reason he plans to qualify as a Democrat to run for the position of Bulloch County coroner. He challenges incumbent Republican Jake Futch and Democratic newcomer Michelle Fiorelli-Rupar.
“I always wanted to become a coroner, to work hard, help people deal with losing their loved ones, and help law enforcement solve crime,” he said.
He is running for office in an effort to bring “fresh ideas and change” to the Bulloch County coroner’s office and, if elected, intends to “open the doors to public interaction.”
By this, Paine means he would host educational programs for young people, teaching them the dangers of distracted driving, drunk driving, opioid abuse and other poor choices that could lead to death. Having seen the end result of such behavior after spending 15 years working with the family funeral business, Paine feels it is important for young people to understand the harsh reality of death.
He also hopes to have programs to help deal with the loss of a loved one and suicide prevention.
Born Aberdeen, Mississippi, Paine joined the U.S. Army after graduation and spent 10 years in the service. He said he was deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and was medically retired in 2018.
He has lived in Bulloch County since 2012, and he and wife Ashley have two sons.
Paine holds an associate degree in applied science/funeral services from Ogeechee Technical College and a Bachelor of Science in healthcare administration from Purdue University. He is current president of the Truthful Masonic Lodge in Portal and is dedicated to community service, including reaching out to those in need. He is a deacon at Hodges Grove Baptist Church and a volunteer firefighter with the Bulloch County Fire Department at stations 7, 8 and 9. Paine is also a representative for disabled military veterans.
Qualifying for office is March 2–6, and after is the May 19 Democratic primary. The winning candidate between Fiorelli-Rupar and Paine will face Futch in November’s general election.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.