LIVE OAK — With time to commit to it and a desire to help people, Wade Thomas decided now was the time to run for office.

Thomas, a Republican, has announced he is running for Suwannee County Property Appraiser in next year’s election. Lamar Jenkins is retiring after 48 years in office.

“I feel like we’ve had a good man in there for 47 years now, it’ll be 48 at the end of his term,” Thomas said. “So somebody needs to go in there that has a heart, that has a mindset of helping somebody instead of hurting them.”

And Thomas said he is someone that seeks to please people. He said that desire to help and the wide-ranging impact of the property appraiser’s office made it an ideal fit for him.

“There’s just no other office or anything that you can help more people out than that one office,” he said.

For instance, Thomas said he would do whatever he could to help if a widow comes in after her husband passed away, dramatically reducing their income.

“I mean you just really, really need to step up and help people when and where you can,” he added.

Thomas, a 1993 Suwannee High graduate, is married and has three children.

He’s also a U.S. Air Force veteran and a lifetime member of the NRA.

The local business owner wants to bring a common-sense approach to government.

“I feel like if I don’t step up and do my part of it if I can, we’re going backwards and going to let other people go backwards and the community as well,” he said.

After talking to community members, one area Thomas wants to use that “common sense” approach if elected would be in an upgrade to the property appraiser’s website to make it more user friendly.

Thomas said he had previously considered running for county commissioner but just felt he was too busy.

However, he’s selling his logging business, Shade Timber, and so the timing was finally right.

“The stars just kind of lined up,” he said.

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