A fourth candidate has entered the race to become the next Bulloch County probate judge.
Brooklet-area resident Marty Waters said customer service is his focus, and he plans to draw upon his experience in working with “all walks of life” if elected.
After serving 30 years as probate judge, Lee DeLoach announced earlier in January he would not seek re-election. In addition to Waters, legal assistant Lorna DeLoach, Desert Storm and Iraq War veteran Lonnie Ellis and Statesboro police detective Kevin Wadley have announced they are running for the probate court seat.
The former Statesboro High School principal has 25 years of experience with the public, having worked from 1991 - 1996 in customer service and as a purchasing officer with Sea Island Bank and from 1998 - 2014 with the Bulloch County school system.
At Statesboro High, he said he “supervised 135 plus employees, managed an annual $500,000 plus budget, mitigated enrollment, guardianship, and student services.” He also worked as an adjunct instructor for Georgia Southern University.
The son of Thomas and Marie Waters, he is married to Jessica Waters and they have three sons - Alan, Corey, and Thomas. He said his love for the community and concern for its citizens would contribute to his being a great probate court judge.
“My wife and I are raising the 7th generation of the Waters family to live in Bulloch County,” he said. “This is home. Growing up in a farming family, I learned a strong work ethic at a young age. Bulloch County schools and Georgia Southern University have provided me a quality education for which I am grateful.”
As judge of the Bulloch County Probate Court, Waters said, if elected, he “looks forward to continuing my service to (the) citizens. Customer service will be my focus while serving with honesty, integrity, and compassion. I look forward to working together to build an excellent quality of life for everyone.”
Waters graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1991 from Southeast Bulloch High School. He attended GSU and achieved a bachelor’s degree in Business Education, then master’s, education specialist and doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.
He is a member of Trinity Baptist Church and has been the congregational song leader for 23 years. Waters is past president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Statesboro and a past board member for Joseph's Home for Boys.
He attributes his history of serving others to his Christian upbringing.
“My parents and my Christian faith have instilled in me the importance of loving and serving our neighbors,” he said. “For these reasons, I have spent the last 25 years of my life giving back to Bulloch County citizens through customer and public service. My experiences have brought me into contact with people from almost every walk of life and I have been privileged to work with them in meeting their goals and assisting in times of great need.”
The general primary election is May 24, and candidates running for probate judge and other local offices must qualify between March 7-11. The deadline to register to vote in the May 24 general primary election is April 26.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.