New judge takes office in January

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Tony Leago will tell you he was just as surprised as anyone to have won the Republican runoff election for the County Judge seat on May 22.

However, that’s done, and Leago wants to hit the ground running.

“I’m not going to waste a day,” he said.

He said the calls of congratulations were frequent, and he was getting a deluge of text messages, so much so, he had to turn his phone off Tuesday night.

“I’ll be honest with you, it’s difficult to defeat an incumbent, because they have the name recognition,” he said. “I am very pleased with the results. But because of the outcome of the election, I sort of feel I have a mandate, and that tells me I have to do what I’ve said I will.”

Toward that end, Leago said he is assembling groups of people who have been tasked to energize the commercial aspect of this county. He then plans to meet with the elected officials to find out what we can do to make things more efficient.

“I want to do more than just talk about things, because we’ve done that to death,” he said. “We need a plan and need to act on that plan.”

Leago said he intends to hold events to find out what is happening in the county, and wants to go from one end of the county to the other and ask them, “Where do you want to be five years from now? What do you want this county to look like?

“We’re already formulating plans, I’ve got some action plans in place that I can do now,” he said. “The intention is to, on the day I’m sworn in, there will be plans ready where all we have to do is flip the switch.”

Because of this win, Leago must let go of the reins in Midway, where he was recently elected mayor, because state law does not allow someone to hold two elected offices simultaneously.

“These people honored me with their vote, and they trusted me,” he said. “The major items needing to be done are already in place, and if I resign today, the city is in great shape.”

After four years of serving as Midway mayor, Leago said that he’s left the city better off than when he found it, with most infrastructure problems fixed and more money in the bank than ever before.

Some of those items include the rehabilitation of the city water supply and the construction of a new water storage tank, and hiring a law enforcement officer who will patrol Midway exclusively.

However, he said he has put in place an action plan for the transition. Leago will tender his resignation Dec. 31, and from there, the Midway City Council will appoint a new mayor.

“I take trust and face more seriously than anything,” he said. “If you trust me, I will go through Heaven or Hell before I violate that trust. It’s part of my DNA.”

That same dedication is what he hopes to bring to the position as County Judge.

“Progress never stops. It’s motion, because you can’t get anywhere standing still,” he said. “But I sense a ton of excitement in the county. And I don’t want to waste one minute. I’m ready.”

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