A former Muskingum County Commissioner is throwing his hat back into the race.
On Wednesday, democrat John Bates filed his paperwork at the Muskingum County Board of Elections. Bates' term as commissioner ended in January, and he said his small business background and good track record in the community will help him get elected.
"I want to see Muskingum County move forward like it was," said Bates. "I want to see jobs in that industrial park, and I want to see people prosper and younger generations grow up here."
Bates said he wants to work with the commissioners and other city officials to balance the county's budget and prepare for the Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling projects. He said he's not concerned about funding his campaign, because he believes people vote more for the person than the party.
"I'm not really a party person," said Bates. "I was born a democrat. The democrats really haven't asked the democratic party for anything. It's not like the other party. We just come in here and do what's best for the people in Muskingum County."
Bates will find out next Wednesday if the board of elections will certify him as a candidate. Republican Todd Sands also intends to run for the seat commencing on January 2, 2013. Democrat Jerry Lavy and republican Eddie Brock intend to run for the seat commencing on January 3, 2013. The primary election will be held on March 6, 2012.