Patrick Hickey of Wildwood took the opportunity of Thursday’s Dade County Commission meeting to announce his candidacy for the District 1 seat of that body. District 1, currently represented by incumbent Mitchell Smith, is comprised of the northern end of the county including Wildwood.
Hickey, who will turn 28 in May, is married to Dade native Selina Slack Hickey. The couple’s baby daughter, Scarlett, will turn 2 shortly.
Hickey recently switched jobs from Kenco in Chattanooga to the Dade County 911 Center, where he is employed as a dispatcher. He will run as a Democrat. Smith—who has yet to announce formally a reelection bid—is a Republican.
Hickey in 2017 had introduced himself to Dade County as a prospective Democratic candidate for the Georgia House, planning a run against incumbent John Deffenbaugh. He has rethought that and now aims now at the commission seat as a more local and accessible office. “The House seat is a broader responsibility and you don’t get to focus on the community that you live in, because you’ve got to focus on so much else,” he told The Planet. “I think as a county commissioner I could have a direct effect on the people I want to help out, the people I care about the most.”
Hickey admits that running as a Democrat in a county as solidly Republican as Dade is daunting, but he stressed that party affiliations are not that important at the local level. “Everybody has the same thing in mind--they want to do what’s best for their community,” he said. “I’m not for one party. I’m for everybody.”
Besides: “With all the speculations and allegations, stuff that’s been going on within the parties, really nobody wants to run as anything but just themselves," he said. "Recently everybody’s fed up with the Republicans and everybody’s fed up with the Democrats.”
He’d rather be considered for his own merits, said Hickey. “I just want them to see me as someone who will help them out, individually or as a whole community,” he said.
Hickey is particularly interested in bringing new business to the Wildwood area. “When you come out of Chattanooga, there’s nothing much there until you get to Trenton,” he said. He’d like to encourage more restaurants, hotels and attractions there.
“It’s all about bringing more people in and making Dade County a better place,” said Hickey.
You may contact Hickey through his Facebook page, patrick hickey for district 1 dade county commissioner, or email address, Hickeyfam41214@aol.com