The next election season in Loganville is beginning to heat up with former councilman Lee “Skip” Baliles announcing his intention to run for mayor to replace current Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez. This comes on the heels of Martinez’s announcement recently that he wouldn’t be running for reelection at the end of the year, choosing instead to run for District 114 in the Georgia House of Representatives in 2022. His announcement came after current District 114 Rep. Tom Kirby (R-Loganville) said he would not be running for reelection at the end of his term.
Baliles, who chose not to run for reelection in 2020 after serving two terms as a Loganville councilman, announced his bid for mayor in a press release Thursday.
“One of my goals when elected mayor will be to begin healing the wounds and divides that exist in our city regarding the unpopular downtown development attempt,” Baliles said. “Elected officials have lost the confidence of some of our residents, and I want to help fix that.”
Baliles noted he had served two terms on the Loganville City Council – from 2012 until 2020 – before a belief in term limits for elected officials saw him not seek a third term. While serving as a councilman, Baliles chaired the council’s Planning and Zoning as well as the Economic Development committees. He touts among his success doing his part to get council approval for the development of the Town Green and redevelopment of the Rock Gym as well as the Ag Building as event venues for the city.
Baliles currently serves as the chairman of the Loganville Downtown Development Authority.
“I think we need to move forward with the type of development for our downtown area that the citizens want,” Baliles said. “I want to make sure that the city continues to begin and finish projects on time and within budget and to focus our efforts on cleaning up our city while at the same time leaving visitors with a good image of Loganville.”
A native of Eden, NC, Baliles spent 40 years in various management roles, including as a store manager of Sears and Lowe’s Home Improvement. Baliles moved to Lawrenceville in 1993 and then settled in Loganville in 2005. He attended council meetings before deciding to seek office for the first time when he ran for the Loganville City Council in 2011, taking office in 2012. He was one of the first council members to serve a four-year term.
Baliles is married with three children, four grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.