CONYERS -- Charles Mays said that serving as Rockdale County Probate Court Judge would be a good way to bridge his educational background with his professional and personal experiences.
"I have always been involved in the community, and I want to link the two and I believe that it is my destiny to end my career in community service," Mays said.
Mays, 60, and local attorney Caycie Dix squared off in the July 31 primary election. Mays secured 52.4 percent of the vote to 47.6 percent for Dix.
"I just want to say that it was a godsend, and I want to thank all my supporters and all of the help that I got," Mays said. "I want to send a word to Caycie Dix that she was a very formidable opponent and I wish her the best."
Mays will now face Republican incumbent Probate Court Judge Lillis Brown, who is seeking her sixth-term in office.
Mays said he is running for Probate Court because the position fulfills a number of his passions, both personally and professionally.
Mays received a law degree in 1982 from Saint Louis University and has worked in management, construction and real estate. He and his wife of 24 years, along with their four children, moved to Rockdale County about nine years ago. Since then, he has served as chairman of the board of a local nonprofit, Ceek To Fulfill.
"Ceek To Fulfill was developed to help kids that have aged out of foster care," Mays said. "When children become 18, the state and other agencies drop them and many have nowhere to go. They don't have extended families so often times, they are out on the street and many get incarcerated."
Mays said the organization helps people as old as 24 take GED classes to receive a high school diploma, and offers programs to help them find jobs, pay their bills and learn life skills.
"I wanted to exercise my legal education, and I thought it I could best serve the community and utilize my legal education by working with the probate system," he said. "Another thing is that I have always been interested in adults with mental illness and I know this is a place where I can also make a difference."
If elected, Mays said he would work to educate the public about the Probate Court, which processes wedding licenses, gun permits and probates wills and estates.
"These are the things handled by the Probate Court, as well as the guardianship of children and incapacitated adults," Mays said. "All those things are very important, but it's most important because it deals with individual's lives."
He said he would also encourage people to volunteer to help those with mental illnesses.
"It seems like hardly anyone knows about the Probate Court except for those who have gone through the system," he said. "I want to make people aware of that and also bring the community together to help those who have mental illness and who aren't able to handle their affairs. I want to work toward having people come forward to volunteer as guardians for those people and to provide training for those willing to stand in as guardians."