COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Preventing unnecessary death is at the top of the agenda for Russell County Coroner Arthur Sumbry after being re-elected on Tuesday.
He says that this election shows him that there's still that trust between him and the people of Russell County. He says although there's been many things done under his leadership for the past three terms, there's more work to be done.
“We want to talk about lower death rates. The mortality rates and letting them know that I care about them, not just showing up when a person passes away. It’s important I believe to the community as well as myself,” says Sumbry.
Sumbry says with a new term comes a stronger emphasis on serving the community even better. Now elected to his fourth term, he says the focus is on addressing what he calls senseless death.
“Even the violent deaths that we have with the vigils, I want people to understand yes we pray that people live to be one hundred, although they don’t, some of the decisions they make, particularly the youth, we can steer them in the right way so some of these deaths are not so senseless as they have been in our community,” Sumbry explains.
He says there’s also going to be a focus on transportation and response times to get to people as soon as possible. Winning the election with 53 percent of the vote, he says he’s looking forward to continuing to serve the community.
“To the citizens of Russell County, not only have you made me proud, but I’m grateful and humble to all of you. I’m going to represent you the way I always have with the utmost respect and compassion for you,” says Sumbry.
His opponent Roger Newman says it was a good turnout for the election. He says he will continue to serve the community.
“I’m just very thankful for the voters who came out that participated in yesterday’s election. We had a very good turnout. I’m just appreciative for everybody that came out and supported our campaign and all the efforts we made through the campaign,” says Sumbry.
The decision was determined by less than a thousand votes. Sumbry was first elected in 2006 as the first African-American coroner of Russell County.