My name is Steve Watkins, and I would like to introduce myself as an Independent Candidate for the office of Mayor for the City of Quitman.
I am married to Rebecca (Becky) Whitley Watkins and we reside in the City of Quitman. My wife is a lifetime member of the Quitman community, and we have a large, blended family of eight children and ten grandchildren. Though my career has been outside of Clarke County, I have made my home in Quitman for the past twenty-two years.
Known for our years of advocacy for children in the foster care system and our work on behalf of children and youth with disabilities, my wife and I are recipients of the Congressional Angel of Adoption Award. As a family of faith, we are active members of Quitman First United Methodist Church where I serve in the Lay Ministry.
I graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with Highest Honors and was inducted into the USM Hall of Fame my senior year. My degree is in Business Administration with an emphasis in Industrial Management.
After graduation from Southern Miss, I served in the United States Air Force as an officer and pilot and was fully certified in both conventional and nuclear warfare as an Aircraft Commander of the B-52 Bomber. Following active duty, I served as a pilot in the Mississippi Air National Guard while working with my family as Vice President of Watkins Furniture and Appliance with stores in Crystal Springs and Hazlehurst, Mississippi.
I recently completed my forty-one-year career in aviation with Delta Air Lines as an International Captain. From my base in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, I was fully qualified as a Pilot-In-Command for operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. For the last six years of my career, I was also certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a Line Check Airman and given the additional responsibility for the qualification and certification of Delta Air Lines pilots in both domestic and international operations.
Since retirement, I have been able to fully enjoy the quality of life afforded a small community of compassionate people striving for growth with a vision for excellence. I have listened to your concerns regarding recreation for our children and youth, unity in our community, job opportunities, crime, infrastructure, business owners’ concerns, law enforcement, taxation, community appearance, housing, and our school district. I share your concerns and because of my extensive travels and work experience, I have had numerous opportunities to see how other cities and countries have addressed these issues. As your Mayor, I will work to make a difference through collaborative efforts, mission-focused initiatives, and service-oriented leadership.
I ask that you take into consideration my background, education, leadership abilities, and desire to serve as your Mayor for the City of Quitman; and cast your vote for me on June 8, 2021.