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Helton promises ‘open door’ policy as coroner

In World
May 12, 2024

May 11—Colt Helton, owner of Dalton’s Helton Tire, says the Whitfield County coroner deals with people in “the worst moment imaginable,” the death of a loved one. Helton faces incumbent Clyde McDaniel Jr. in the May 21 Republican Party primary for coroner. Helton said if elected he will treat people with “compassion and professionalism.”

Dalton Daily Citizen: Why are you seeking office?

Helton: To serve the good, hard-working people of Whitfield County. These good people deserve a coroner who’s not going to quit on them. A coroner who’s able to devote full-time hours for this office of coroner and it is simply not their part-time job. They deserve a coroner department who holds advanced medical licensure, while providing chaplains for when the good people of this county find themselves in the worst moment imaginable.

DDC: What makes you the most qualified candidate?

Helton:

— Born and Raised in Whitfield County.

— Dalton High.

— University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

— 10-plus years of experience in fire service, emergency medical service and (the Cumberland County, Tennessee) Emergency Management Agency.

— National registered, advanced emergency medical technician.

— Former public affairs officer in the Tennessee State Guard.

— Small business owner.

— Member of Church on the Hill.

— Married to Jennifer Helton, sixth-grade English language arts teacher at Hammond Creek Middle School.

— Two beautiful daughters, Siobhan and Sophia.

— Grandson of former Whitfield County coroner Leon Helton.

DDC: What do you think will be the major challenges facing the coroner’s office over the next four years and what will you do to address those challenges?

Helton: In his response, Helton said the coroner should “work together with other elected officials to secure the funding needed for the department.”

DDC: What are your views regarding government transparency and honesty with the voters?

Helton: The office of coroner will be an open and transparent agency with an open door policy, while maintaining the dignity and confidentiality of its investigations and the families involved.

DDC: In just a few words, what else would you like to tell the community about your background, experience, education, qualifications or why a voter should vote for you?

Helton: A few months ago the coroner of Whitfield County resigned. On May 21 we will hold the first public election since that resignation. It’s time we usher in stability, compassion and professionalism. It’s time we become a voice for those who no longer can be an advocate for themselves. It’s time we become a voice for the voiceless.

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