LOGANVILLE, Ga. — Former City Councilman Lee “Skip” Baliles announced Thursday he will run for mayor of Loganville in 2021.

Baliles served on the council from 2012-20. He chose not to seek reelection in 2019, citing his belief in term limits.

Mayor Rey Martinez will not be seeking a second term in the Nov. 2 election, as he is running for the Republican nomination to represent the area in the state House in 2022.

“One of my goals when elected mayor will be to begin healing the wounds and divides that exist in our city regarding the unpopular downtown development attempt,” Baliles said in a statement.

“Elected officials have lost the confidence of some of our residents, and I want to help fix that.”

A proposal to remake the city’s center through a public-private partnership included an influx of apartment space. Opposition led the City Council to kill the plan in March 2020.

Since leaving office, Baliles was named to the Loganville Development Authority in 2020. He now serves as its chairman.

“I think we need to move forward with the type of development for our downtown area that the citizens want,” he said. “I want to make sure that the city continues to begin and finish projects on time and within budget and to focus our efforts on cleaning up our city while at the same time leaving visitors with a good image of Loganville.”

Baliles is a native of Eden, North Carolina, who spent 40 years in various management roles including work with Sears and Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse.

He moved to Lawrenceville in 1993 and to Loganville in 2005. Upon retirement, he began to attend City Council meetings and jumped into politics with a run for council in 2011.

He won and became one of the first to serve a four-year term.

Baliles and his wife have three children, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

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