With a degree in legal studies and law school aspirations, Desert Storm and Iraq war veteran Lonnie Ellis feels his Bulloch County roots and involvement in local civic matters will aid him in serving as Bulloch County’s probate judge, if elected.
Ellis announced this week he intends to qualify to run for the seat in the upcoming general primary election May 24.
"I find myself in a unique position where, regardless of the outcome, I will be a winner,” he said. “I will either win the election and have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Bulloch County or I will be given the opportunity to move on and pursue my dreams of going to law school. Everyone should be so blessed to have that fortune at least once in life.”
Ellis hold a bachelor ‘s degree in legal studies from South University, where he is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business. He said he hopes to attend law school in the fall.
If elected as Bulloch County probate judge, following the retirement of current Judge Lee DeLoach, effective Dec. 31, Ellis said he would seek to form partnerships with other local agencies to help improve the community.
“I would love to start an initiative where the school system, law enforcement and the court work together in an effort to stomp out bullying,” he said. Also, “I would also like to set up public forums where local attorneys can come in and talk about the importance of having a wIll drawn” and other legal issues.
Ellis was born in Savannah, to Jessie Eugene (Preacher) Ellis Jr. and Willene Rewis and was raised primarily in Bulloch County. He graduated from Statesboro High School in 1989 and then joined the United States Marine Corps.
An extensive military career began with recruit training at Parris Island, SC. After graduating boot camp he went through Marine Combat Training and Marine Corps School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, NC. Assigned to Gulf Company 2nd Battalion 8th Marines at Camp Lejuene, NC. And later assigned to a Casualty Replacement Company, he was deployed to Desert Shield/ Desert Storm.
After the war, he returned to Camp Lejuene, completed his service and moved to Illinois, where he joined the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving on many levels. He also graduated from the American Legion College in 2000.
Ellis rejoined the military (Army this time) in February 2008 and after training, was eventually assigned to the 5th Squadron 7th Cavalry Regiment at Ft. Stewart. In December of 2009 he was once again deployed to Iraq. He retired from the military in 2012 after receiving numerous awards, including the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, Iraq Campaign Medal with one bronze star and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
He is currently the commander of Dexter Allan American Legion Post 90 in Statesboro and he serves as a junior vice commander of the 1st District, Dept. of Georgia. He is also a lifetime member of the VFW; a member of the Statesboro Kiwanis Club and a member of Moose Lodge 1089.
Ellis has three children and one granddaughter.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.