Kevin Graves, a Wilson County native, announced his candidacy for the District 6 Wilson County Commission seat in the August election.
Educated in Wilson County public schools and a lifelong resident of District 6, Graves is the second of four children born to Eugene Graves and Jeraldine Conatser Graves and is the grandson of the late Hobart and Elizabeth Hemontolor, and the late Luther and Martha Conatser.
“A deep desire and concern for making government work for the people of the Sixth District is a lifelong goal,” Graves said. “Education is a priority, as well as our roads, repairing and making safe our aging bridges and fragile infrastructure, thus ensuring that our communities become better. The Sixth District is an area of great need, and at the same time, great potential for growth, improvement and innovation. In the past, I have felt that the Sixth District was overlooked and left out of the equation when appropriations have been made for school improvements, repair to facilities and roads and for growth opportunities.
“As a county on the move and in the middle of change everywhere, this is a time to be vigilant and to look to the future, and most of all, be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The Sixth District should be a part of this future with full participation in the planning and preparations for tomorrow. We should not be left as a spectator on the sidelines, watching as funding and improvements are being directed away from us. We need the people entrusted to represent us, to step up to the plate and be counted on our behalf. I truly feel that communication is lacking between the people elected to serve and those whom they are entrusted to represent. Many times, those in places of leadership become “out of touch with the people who elected them. Fairly representing everyone equally is the key to combining the needs of the people, with the opportunities afforded to our communities, through our commissioners, and others in places of elected authority.”
Graves said he wants to make Wilson County employees a priority.
“Also having a keen awareness of the needs of the employees of Wilson County, who work daily to help our communities succeed and who provide us with a place we are proud to call home, is a necessity,” he said. “These employees need to be treated in a fair and equitable manner with respect to their workplace, their wages, insurance and retirement benefits. Longevity and dedication should be rewarded, and those who work beyond the call of duty – and there are many – should not be forgotten. Work ethic and excellence should also be considered when evaluating our career public employees. Whether they are teachers, correctional officers, law officers, office employees, road workers or maintenance, each deserves to be represented fairly and equitably, and their contributions should be rewarded. Representation should be made evenly and fairly and with great deliberation.”
Graves said he plans to look to the future where Wilson County’s growth is concerned.
“As our county grows, those who are elected must also grow in vision and purpose,” he said. “We should be committed to being good stewards of the funds we are provided with, through the hardworking taxpayers of our county. We must be resolved that we will represent our people every day to the best of our ability, and, we should make every effort to keep within our budget, while not neglecting the most basic of our commitments to our constituents in the process.
“If elected, I want the people I represent, to know they are a part of the process of government that has made our country, our state, and our county great. More often than not, we regrettably feel left out of the decision making that affects our daily lives. I want to change that concept for the people of the Sixth District of Wilson County, and give the people their voice, that so often has been silenced by the workings of politics
“Above all, as citizens of this great country, we need to vote in all elections. If you are not registered, please do so; it is a very easy process. Voting is one of our most important rights and is a sacred privilege. I would be honored to have your vote Aug. 7 for commissioner of the Sixth District of Wilson County. Together we can make a difference.
“I will work hard and I assure everyone will be treated equally and fairly. My phone will always be answered and my door will always be open.”
Married to Sandra (Poppy) Eakes Graves, he is the father of three children, Andrea (Jessie) Dillard, Mark Graves, and Kaitlyn Graves and grandfather of two, Colbie Dillard and Ellie Graves. Graves is a member of Cedar Grove Baptist Church, where he serves as trustee, assistant Sunday school director and assistant Sunday school teacher, and is currently serving as president of the Carroll Community Club.