Unopposed Trenton commissioner passes away three days before election
Just days before Tuesday's elections in North Georgia, the sole candidate for a Trenton City commissioner position passed away. Residents and city leaders say the passing of David Raines leaves a void that can not be filled but the city now has the task of looking for a Streets Commissioner.
Just outside Trenton city limits off busy Highway 11, a wreath hangs on the door of David Raines' tire and auto shop.
"It still sounds strange. I just keep saying, 'I just can't believe David's gone,'" says Jean Lawson.
Jean Lawson has lived in Trenton for 49 years and for 30 of those years, she knew David Raines.
"He was just a real good honest man. That's why he had such a good business. Everybody trusted him and he did good work for them."
Raines opened up Trenton Tire and Auto in 1980. Over the years he served the city of Trenton as police commissioner and streets commissioner.
"He was raised here and grew up around everybody and the whole little county and he just knew everybody and knew what was needed and everything," says Lawson.
In the latest city election he was running unopposed for streets commissioner again. But three days before Tuesday's election, 66-year-old David Raines passed away, following cancer surgery.
"It's just sad just thinking about it. Yeah, I'm very sorry that it happened like that," says Lawson.
His name was still on the ballot. Others we spoke with in the community say they still put in a vote for Raines, out of respect. Trenton Mayor Anthony Emanuel tells Channel 3 Raines stepped in this past summer to fill the position, when the previous commissioner moved out of city limits. He says Raines was and still is the most qualified man for the job.
"The city's going to miss him and Dade county. They're going to really miss that man."
For Lawson, she lost more than a commissioner or a neighbor but a dear friend.
"I know what it is when you give up family members. David will really really be missed."
Raines leaves behind a wife of 47 years and two children.
In January, the city has to call for a special election and accept qualifying applicants. If more than one person puts their name in the ring, the mayor says a special election will be held March 18th.