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County squire hopeful resigns
Jun 26, 2006 12:00 am
June 15, 2006 – Annette Stafford stands virtually unopposed for a third County Commission term after her opponent said Wednesday he was no longer seeking the post.
Ja'Rob Coggins, who previously lived on Trousdale Ferry Pike, told The Lebanon Democrat on Wednesday personal issues have led him to move out of District 20.
And while the deadline for withdrawal from the August ballot has passed, Coggins said he was not seeking to replace Stafford.
"I was ready to make a change in the community," Coggins said. "I felt like I was ready. … Like I said, a situation just came up and I had to withdraw."
The 1999 Lebanon High School graduate said he had wanted to focus on economic development in his district and get a new Lebanon High School constructed.
But he also sought to address putting a large security fence around the old rock quarry located on Bluebird Road, where a 13-year-old boy drowned last year.
Coggins said he respected his opponent in the race.
"I felt it was time for me to actually run," Coggins said. "It wasn't because (Stafford) was my opponent whatsoever. I respect her without a shadow of a doubt."
But at the young age of 24, Coggins said he plans to pursue future opportunities at elected office.
Meanwhile, Stafford – who has also represented Ward 2 on the Lebanon City Council – said she also sought a new Lebanon High School in addition to a proposed event center in Lebanon.
"I've got a lot of things I'd like to see completed," Stafford said. " … We've been talking about trying to find land for a new Lebanon High School. I'd like to see us get this event center in Wilson County as long as it doesn't cost the taxpayers any money. … There are a lot of things I would like to see completed before I stop running."
She was complimentary of her young opponent, but said the nature of politics "is not for everybody.
"I hope he withdrew for the right reason," Stafford said. "I wish him great success. I think he is a fine, upstanding young man."
Stafford added she would "love to have him on my future team for any future elections I might try to pursue."
Election Commissioner Lynn Harris said as of today, Coggins' name would still appear on the ballot.
Staff Writer Jason Cox can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 45 or by e-mail at email@example.com.