Ken Vance

Ken Vance, a former member of Milledgeville City Council who later became executive director of the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.), has announced plans to seek office as a state representative.

Ken Vance has announced his intentions to seek office as a state representative.

Vance, who was the longest consecutively serving member on Milledgeville City Council with 28 years of service to the residents of District 4, recently talked with The Union-Recorder about his latest aspiration.

“I filed the necessary paperwork in Atlanta to seek the office of District 133 state representative the week before Christmas,” Vance said.

Vance said he received encouragement to run from state Rep. Rick Williams, (R-Milledgeville). Williams has decided to vacate the seat and seek the state Senate seat currently held by Burt Jones, (R-Jackson), who has launched his campaign to become Georgia’s next lieutenant governor.

Vance came to Milledgeville as an English major at Georgia College in 1976.

Vance said he believes has the experience needed to excel in office as the next state representative from Milledgeville.

“One, I think I have the experience, having been a city councilman, having been at the state capitol and knowing how the process on the state level works, for the most part,” Vance said. “I consider myself to be an open-minded person, easily accessible, and I want to serve the people of this new district that is being created as a result of redistricting.”

The 67-year-old Vance, who lives in Milledgeville, knows his way around Georgia’s Gold Dome in Atlanta. He served as executive director of the Georgia Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.) for 13 years. He served under former Gov. Sonny Perdue, Gov. Nathan Deal, and for a short time under Gov. Brian Kemp before he left that office in April 2019.

A former deputy sheriff with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, and currently a District 4 member of the Georgia Military College Board of Trustees, Vance also serves as director of safety with the Putnam County Charter School System in Eatonton.

Vance said he missed working and being around people and he said he learned quickly that full-time retirement wasn't what he wanted just yet.

‘’I was bored stiff and was looking for something to do, besides honey-dos.”

He said he discussed the idea of going back into law enforcement with his wife, Carol. The couple has been married 39 years has a son and a daughter.

Vance said he prayed about the decision to run for elected office again before he decided to go to Atlanta and fill out the necessary paperwork as a candidate.

“Even though my wife didn’t want me to do it, I had seriously thought about going back on the road as a deputy sheriff when I got a call from Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills telling me they had just made a job for me there in Putnam County, and I needed to come there and take it,” Vance said. 

Vance and Sills are longtime best friends.

Vance said he interviewed for the job in Eatonton one day and the very next week he was working as the new safety director for the public school system.

“It’s a great school system,” Vance said. “They have a 94 percent graduation rate, which is unheard of.”

Vance said if he’s fortunate enough to be elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, he realizes his first year in office will be a learning curve.

“You’ve got one session and a whole bunch of committee meetings,” Vance said. “And you aren’t born knowing all of that stuff.”

He said the second year in office would be different, and that’s when he would really start understanding things much better.

“I know a good many state lawmakers, senators and representatives because I was up there at the capitol for 13 years with P.O.S.T.,” Vance said.

He said he wants to do what he can to promote economic development throughout the district.

“We need new, high-paying jobs and with good benefits in this part of middle Georgia, there’s no doubt about it,” Vance said.

He also said he would support the revitalization of Renaissance Park at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville.

“I don’t take myself real seriously, but I take what I do absolutely seriously,” Vance said. “If you can’t laugh at yourself, you can’t laugh at anybody. I look at life this way, have I made mistakes, yes, and then you move on. It’s important to move forward.”

The new Georgia House District 133, approved under redistricting, includes portions of Baldwin County and a portion of Jones County. It excludes eastern Baldwin County and the southern portion of Putnam County. 

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