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Kuhne seeks District 3 county commission seat

A south Grady County resident who previously sought election to the Grady County Board of Education is now running for a seat on the Grady County Board of Commissioners.
Richard D. Kuhne II, 55, of 148 Jamie Rd. qualified Monday as a Republican candidate for the District 3 commission seat being vacated by longtime Commissioner Charles Norton, who is not seeking reelection.
Kuhne, according to his qualifying papers, is unemployed, and has been a resident of Grady County for the past 10 years.
The District 3 commission hopeful said he grew up in Tallahassee and graduated from Leon High School. “Basically, I’ve been a resident of this area for most of my life,” he said.
Although currently unemployed, Kuhne said he has worked as a field research scientist for Iowa State University and previously was a supervisor with the Florida Department of Labor.
“I’ve done everything from ditch digger to field research scientist,” he said.
The candidate said his efforts to find employment locally have been difficult due to his health, saying he suffers from degenerative disc disease in his back, and is over-educated and over-skilled.
Kuhne said that those elected to the board of commissioners should know that county residents pay taxes for the protection of person and property. “County commissioners should be good stewards of the money and spend it wisely on what is necessary like law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical service and road maintenance,” he said.
“I’ve got a big mouth and a hair trigger so it’s ready to go off at anytime,” Kuhne joked.
“I don’t take myself too seriously, and I try to get along with people,” the Republican candidate said.
Kuhne lost his wife in June 2014 and he is now a single parent raising his 11-year-old, soon to be 12-year-old, daughter, who is home schooled through the Grady County School System’s Virtual Education Program.
“I believe we should all give back to our community. My family has been serving this country for 250 years. I see this as an opportunity for me to give back to the community,” Kuhne said.
As a county commissioner, Kuhne pledged to serve the public for no pay, just reimbursement for travel expenses. “I’ve been in heated battles with the county commission over Lewis Lane and now it is being paved. The county should do the right thing. Carlos (Tobar, the Grady County administrator) has told you and the commissioners I am the primary reason that project is being done,” Kuhne said.
In 2014, Kuhne ran for election to the District 3 seat on the Grady County Board of Education, but came in third behind Laura Register and Marty Cannington.
Kuhne was barred from the Eastside Elementary School campus by the Cairo Police Department in 2014 after allegedly using profanity while talking with Eastside Principal Shelia Cain.
He has been a vocal critic of the Eastside School administration and has voiced his displeasure during board of education meetings.
Kuhne had also offered his services to the board of education to serve as the superintendent of schools.
In an October 2014 radio forum featuring candidates for the District 3 board of education post, Kuhne said that he had previously owned a business with over 100 employees. “I’m as good a bean counter as anyone else,” Kuhne said during the radio forum.
The only other candidate to qualify for the District 3 post as of Messenger presstime was Keith Moye, 33, of 2517 Hadley Ferry Road. Moye also qualified as a Republican and no Democratic candidates for the seat had qualified as of Tuesday.
The primary will be held Tuesday, May 24.

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