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Jim Grier announces run for Lula mayor
Jim Grier
Jim Grier

A Lula-based businessman and civic leader will attempt what others have tried and failed to do — oust the city’s four-term mayor from office.

Jim Grier, best known in Lula as the former chairman of the Downtown Development Authority, a position he held from 2007-2014, told The Times this week that he will launch a campaign against Mayor Milton Turner to bring new leadership to the city.

A Lula-based businessman and civic leader will attempt what others have tried and failed to do — oust the city’s four-term mayor from office.

Jim Grier, best known in Lula as the former chairman of the Downtown Development Authority, a position he held from 2007-2014, told The Times this week that he will launch a campaign against Mayor Milton Turner to bring new leadership to the city.

“I think we need to do a little planning for what we want for Lula in the future, and get some input of the citizens and business owners” Grier said. “We need to make sure we have a path we’re going to follow, and we’re committed to that path. That’s what I think I will offer as a businessman more so than a politician. I’m used to strategic planning.”

Trying to unseat Turner won’t be easy. He has built a loyal base of support since first winning the mayor’s seat in 2001.

Turner could not be reached for comment Friday.

Grier said he approached Turner earlier this week after a Lula City Council meeting to let him know of his plans to run for mayor. Grier said Turner was friendly and not taken aback.

“I appreciated his attitude, he was quite open with me,” Grier said. “Milton and I worked together while I was chairman of the Downtown Development Authority. It’s not like we’ve never had any conversations before.”

Although this would be Grier’s first attempt at elected office, he said his family has a long tradition of public service, including his grandfather J. Hudson Terrell, who served as a mayor and council member in the Lula Belton area as well as justice of the peace and state representative in Hall County during the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.

“He was sort of my inspiration,” Grier said of his grandfather.

Grier worked as an electrical engineer for Georgia Power and Oglethorpe Power and as a consultant for Southern Engineering Co. He then turned to real estate in 1987 selling, owning and managing properties.

Grier and his wife, Marilyn, have five children and 12 grandchildren. He plans to publicly announce his plans to run for mayor at about 11 a.m. Saturday during the Lula Car Show.

The qualifying period for Lula elections is Aug. 21-23. The nonpartisan election is Nov. 7. Also in play will be the council seats of incumbents Mordecai Wilson and Marvin Moore. Both men said they plan to seek re-election.  

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