A longtime president of the Laney-Walker Neighborhood Association on Monday became the first candidate to officially announce a run for the District 1 Augusta Commission seat coming open this year.
Stanley Hawes, 53, said he will bring his background as a lifelong Augusta resident, contractor and advocate to the commission.
“If you want something done, like the old folks said, ‘Do it yourself,’” said Hawes, who has never run for public office but serves on the Richmond County sheriff’s Merit Review Board.
Hawes, who led the Laney-Walker Neighborhood Association for 19 years until 2009, said he has grown dissatisfied with District 1 Commissioner Matt Aitken for “different reasons” that include Aitken’s availability to communicate with constituents.
Hawes said he wants to restore a sense of community purpose to the commission.
“Everybody’s fighting everybody else’s agenda and nobody cares about a broad agenda,” he said. “Just because you have differences doesn’t mean you can’t work together for the betterment of the community.”
Hawes said he’s spent the past 19 years as a caregiver to his son, who has cerebral palsy.
“He was one of those that was going to have a chance,” Hawes said. “That was the focus of the last 19 years, that he had a chance at life.”
No one else has officially announced plans to seek the District 1 seat, including Aitken, who said Friday that he and his family were discussing his not seeking a second term because of the criticism and attacks he’s faced since taking office.
Qualifying for five commission and five Richmond County Board of Education posts coming open this year begins in May.
The date of the commission election remains undecided by the Georgia General Assembly, but it will be either in July or November.