GEORGETOWN – With election season upon us, the Primary is just over a month away. Candidates seeking party nomination had their deadline come and pass. For those who aren’t major party candidates, they have until 4 p.m. the day prior to the Primary Election. One of those independent candidates seeking office is Paul Riley.
Riley hopes to run as an independent for the office of Brown County Commissioner for the November General Election. Riley is a Georgetown business owner and long time resident. This is his first go-around with politics and hopes he can make a difference.
“I feel like I want to make a difference, I’ve sat on the sideline for a lot of year and watch what things are going on in the county, and the state, and the country and I’m not happy with they way everything is transpiring the way it is,” Riley said. “I have a lot of questions that nobody seems to want to answer, so I figured I would go for it.”
Unlike major party candidates, Riley has a long period of time to get enough signatures to get on the ballot. He was ready to submit his petition to the Board of Elections, but because of clerical error, he is seeking to run against Daryll Gray and Ralph Jennings in the General Election come November.
“For me to be on the ballot I need to come up with roughly 116 signatures and due to the Board of Elections process, I’m shooting for around 150, just in case somebody signs the petition and their voter registration isn’t up to date or incorrect or whatever and that name gets disqualified, I will have extra names to be able to take place of the ones that get disqualified,” Riley said. “I’m trying really hard to make sure that doesn’t happen but if only a couple names slip through that aren’t correct, it could cause my petition to get rejected. So that is why I’m shooting for extra names.”
On Riley’s original petition, he had the number of signatures he need, but since he is changing which term he is seeking, he needs to collect the signatures all over again. Riley said he is not discouraged about needing signatures and think he will have no problem filling it out again before the deadline.
“I am about 50 percent of the way right now,” Riley said. “We are going to be doing a meet and greet at Sonny’s Smoke Shop in Mt. Orab on Jan. 5. But you can always stop by the store and sign my petition, contact me on Facebook, my cell phone. I am pretty accessible guy. I will meet up with people. You can come visit my home. I am more than happy to sit down and speak with anyone in Brown County who has any questions, concerns, ideas, suggestions. I’ll be the first person to tell you I may not be perfect for the position but I am interested and hungry to make a difference. I want to make a difference. I don’t want to sit here and complain, I want to be the guy who makes the difference.”
Riley hopes the Meet and Greet will allow those who have questions about his background and what he stands for will be able to hear his message.
“I encourage anybody who has questions to come ask me, ask me who I am,” Riley said. “One of the things I get a lot about is ‘I don’t know who you are, or what you are about,’ well ask me. I am an open book. If someone wants to ask questions they can call me, Facebook me, come to Sonny’s Smoke Shop, anything to get their questions answered.”
While Riley admits he lacks politics experience, he comes to the table with no ulterior motive or agenda. He said he wasn’t seeking the office for any perceived power gain.
“There are a few things I would like to accomplish,” Riley said. “I would like to see more transparency between the County Government and the public. There is some levels already in place, but we see more of that. I would also like to see the departments in the county start working together better. There is already a lot tension between the coroner, he sheriff, the prosecutor, the judges, everybody seems to be at wits end with one another. We need to fix those relationship problems and mend those problems to get everyone working together for the common good of the citizens of Brown County instead of everybody trying to do their own thing and benefit their own department. We need to benefit the entire county. These offices don’t serve to benefit the people in their department, the serve to benefit all the people of the county.”
Riley said he has until the day before the primary to turn his petition in to run as an independent candidate for Brown County Commissioner. His Meet and Greet is scheduled beginning 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5 at Sonny’s Smoke Shop in Mt. Orab.