Oldham makes attempt to rejoin Lee Commissioners

Apr. 18, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

Although two names are set to appear on the May 6 Democratic primary ballot for the Lee County Commission District 4 seat, both candidates intend to support the same person.

Former Lee County Commissioner Larry “Doc” Oldham and Leverne Kinney both filed for the District 4 seat in February, but Kinney announced in March his intention to withdraw from the campaign.

“Doc and I have the same views, and we stand for the same thing,” Kinney said. “Since we share the same views and feel the same about the issues, it’s better for the party to be united.”

Despite his withdrawal, Kinney’s name will still appear on the ballot, which were in the process of being printed when he left the race. He added that he intends to serve the community in other ways and hasn’t ruled out running for office at a future date.

Oldham, 71, retired from the road construction industry, served on the board of commissioners previously but was defeated in the 2012 Republican primary. Late last year, he switched political parties.

“The local Republican Party wanted me to vote down party lines,” Oldham said. “And they are not always right. Neither party is always right. I voted my conscience and for the Lee County people. And that is what I plan to do again.”

Oldham said he wanted to run for political office because his native county had been good to him and he wanted to return the favor.

“I felt like I could provide a service for Lee County,” he said. “I wanted to help the people of Lee County and work for the people of Lee County.”

Oldham said he led the effort to put Animal Control under the purview of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and, if elected, he intends to focus on bringing business to Lee County.

“I am a pro-business person,” he said. “Our business has been stagnant for the last 24 months. … We need to take down the ‘closed-for-business’ sign. We need to let people know we are open for business.”

Oldham added he wanted Lee County to not only grow, but grow in the right way.

“I am for a progressive Lee County,” Oldham said.

The Democratic victor will face Kevin Dodson, who owns Carolina Fire Arms Training Inc. and K&L Gun Sales, in the general election. The District 4 seat is now held by Lee County Commissioner Jim Womack, who announced he is not seeking re-election in February. 

Early voting begins April 24.