Election 2014: Gaines sees changes in how Ray does business

Editor’s note: Ray County Presiding Commissioner Bob King is retiring from that post at the end of this term, and five candidates – three Democrats and two Republicans – are vying for their party’s nod to compete in the general election in November. This is the  fourth in a series introducing those candidates. 

billy gaines 2 mug By Sara Seidel-Richmond News StaffA relative newcomer to Ray County, Billy Gaines is seeking the Republican nomination for the county’s presiding commissioner post.

“I believe we need somebody younger with leadership skills that can jump in and not have to be shown how to lead,” Gaines said, explaining his reason for running.

Gaines is a support coordinator for the Ray County Board of Services. He works with clients with mental and physical disabilities to be certain they get the services they need.

Gaines graduated from Berrien County High School in Georgia and then served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years. For four of those years, he was deployed to Japan, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

He joined the Georgia National Guard as a flight medic and later served in an infantry unit. When he moved to Missouri, he transferred his guard membership here. He served as an instructor at the Richmond armory and serves in the same capacity now that the unit operates out of Fort Leonard Wood. His military background includes 15 years of active duty, leading and training soldiers.

Gaines has worked with local and state governments during emergencies and with residents of small villages on the international stage. He says that through his travels, he has seen how changes affect and help growth.

“Bringing growth in is how a town survives,” he said, adding that without revenue, infrastructure collapses. “You’ve got to have good schools and good roads to bring business in for growth.”

The complete story is in the Monday, July 7, 2014 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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