Lomax tired of seeing young people go to college and never return

David Lomax is ready to get to work after being elected Tuesday as Marion County's presiding commissioner.

"I have to say, I am just a servant. I'm not a politician. I'm just a guy that's ready to serve," he said.

One of Lomax's first jobs will be to learn the ropes of being a presiding commissioner from the incumbent he defeated, Lyndon Bode.

"I'm looking forward to working with Lyndon over the next couple of months and getting brought up to speed," he said. "We will make the transition as smoothly as possible, forge ahead and see what God has in store for us in the next several years."

Lomax interprets his election as a mandate from residents that it's time for a change.

"Lyndon has served well," he said. "I have got a very different skill set than Lyndon does. The people concluded that it was time for a different set of eyes to look at what is going on and try something different."

While Lomax praised Bode for his work on county roads and bridges, he indicated his focus will be on another type of infrastructure.

"Rural broadband is the buzzword," he said. "If you can't communicate over digital systems, you are not going to be able to function."

Lomax is tired of watching the county's young people leave and not come back.

"We're hemorrhaging young people," he said. "They go somewhere to get an education. They look at coming back here and there is nothing to come back to. If we are going to attract the next generation to come back here, we have to have something to utilize the skill set they went away to learn."

Lomax wants to see the county be on the cutting edge of job opportunities.

"Their occupations that didn't exist 20 years ago. Who knows what it will be four years down the road, or eight years? It is a challenge and I'm ready for the challenge," he said.

Marion County has what it takes to attract new businesses, Lomax said.

"There are a lot of places that are heavily, heavily taxed, or are just generally unfriendly to business that we could easily attract here," he said.

danny.henley@courierpost.com