Pledging to bring common sense solutions to local government, Tony Gaines has announced his bid to become the next county commissioner for District 14 on the Rutherford County Commission.
Gaines, 45, has qualified to run as an independent for the seat, currently held by incumbent Charles Baum, a Republican. The election is Aug. 7.
A small business owner/entrepreneur who has lived in Murfreesboro for 25 years, Gaines said he wants to provide a voice for those residents who may not feel they have a strong connection to local government or feel their concerns aren’t being properly addressed.
“The county has changed a lot over the years,” said Gaines, a Georgia native. “I believe in being logical about the issues we face and seeking solutions that will benefit all taxpayers. The county is more diverse.”
Gaines previously served the community for 10 years at the Murfreesboro Fire Department. He currently operates Sweet T’s Barbecue and Catering Service, a career that has allowed him to meet more residents within the community and hear their concerns.
Gaines is a 1992 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in criminal justice. He was a two-year letterman at offensive tackle on the Blue Raider football team, playing on two Ohio Valley Conference title teams and is now a frequent tailgater at MTSU games.
In recent years, Gaines has served as a volunteer coach for youth basketball for the city of Murfreesboro and now trains girl basketball players individually on a volunteer basis.
He is seeking to have a bigger impact within the community he loves by serving as a county commissioner.
Issues such as the ongoing growth and changes within the county school system and the increasing pressure on taxpayer money means tough decisions will need to be made, he said. Gaines believes elected officials need to look out for the more vulnerable members of the community, such as elderly residents on fixed incomes and lower income families trying to stay afloat as the economy recovers.
“Some modest cuts may need to be made in some areas of the budget so that we don’t overburden these taxpayers,” he said. “But we must always make sure that we are properly funding county government in order to provide excellent services to county residents.”
Gaines has two children, son Noah, 7, and daughter Shamaria, 12. He attends Destiny Center Church in Murfreesboro, where he serves on the security team.