By ALLEN RAU
After 27 years calling balls and strikes and arguing with the likes of legendary baseball managers such as Earl Weaver and Billy Martin, Dale Ford may consider politics a less stressful occupation.
Ford, a Republican running for the Washington County Trustee position, is a former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives and was a Major League Baseball umpire for 27 years.
Ford was the home plate umpire during the infamous World Series Game 6 between the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox when a hobbled Bill Buckner let a ground ball sneak between his legs, costing Boston the crucial game.
Ford served in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 2006 through 2012 and was the vice-chair for the Agriculture Committee during the 2011-12 legislative sessions. He also served on the Ethics and Transportation Committee during the same session.
He considers himself a key factor to the Exit 13 Interstate Exchange off I-26 in Gray. The project is named in his honor: “The Honorable Dale Ford Exchange”.
“I was born and raised in Washington County and I want to do everything I can for the taxpayers of Washington County because that’s where I’m from,” Ford said.
He added that his main concern is the safety of the county taxpayers’ money.
“I’d like to keep the staff intact and be a conservative caretaker of the taxpayers money … I’ll make sure that the taxpayer gets their money’s worth when they pay their taxes,” Ford said, “And make sure that people eligible for a tax break, make sure they get it whether they are senior citizens or veterans. It doesn’t matter who it is. If you’re eligible for a tax break I will make sure you get it.” Ford said he would not make any investments with taxpayer money without certain guarantees.
“I don’t want to go in there and do a lot of investments towards the stock market without guaranteed return. I’ve got to take care of that money … and run your tax dollar just like I’d run my own.”
He also believes that the contacts he has in Nashville will benefit the county.
“I still have several contacts (in Nashville) with water and roads and I’d like to use that office to maybe get some of the water projects up here that we have fallen short on.
“The key is to sell yourself, and if they like you, you’ll get projects. And since I’ve left there hasn’t been one road project or one water project.”
The former umpire and representative believes his personality will help him if he is elected. “I’m very easy to work with. I don’t bother anybody; I think if you do your job I’ll definitely do mine and we’ll get along fine.”
The county Trustee primary will be held on May 1, 2018, while early voting will begin on April 11, 2018.