Daughtry “Doc” Melton III announced Monday that he will be throwing his hat into the race for Tift County Coroner. He will be running as a Republican.
As the owner of Southview Mortuary, which he established in 1992, Melton said he has been in the funeral business all his life, which goes all the way back to his grandfather opening his own funeral home — Melton Funeral Home. He stated that he has over 25 years of experience as a funeral director and embalmer.
“I’m on call 24/7,” he said.
Melton stated that he served as aTift County Commissioner for 12 years. During that time, he said he became interested in running for Tift County Coroner but was unable to due to his serving on the Tift County Board of Commissioners.
Melton stated that he has worked under past coroners, the late Joe Beaumount and his son, Mike Beaumount; the late Walker Patton; and also, alongside current Tift County Coroner Steve Wood, who will not be seeking re-election as he looks to fill the Tift County Sheriff position. Also, he noted that the present Tift County deputy coroners have agreed to continue serving in their positions.
“I have the experience and the community knows me. I do this every day and all day anyhow,” Melton said. “I have a love and passion to serve people. I’ve served as county commissioner and I would also love to serve the community as the next coroner.”
Melton noted that Southview Mortuary has worked with disaster teams, local officials and pathologists, coroners from surrounding counties and the Crime Victims Assistance Program.
“We’re a well established business. We’re dedicated, dependable and professional. We do this all the time,” he said. “With our expertise handling remains and death in a professional way and courteous manner, we know how to respond. We’re knowledgeable of all state laws, rules and changes.”
He added that if elected Tift County Coroner, he and his staff at Southview want to educate the public by having workshops and seminars. Also, they would like to work with local officials and local and state agencies to present various programs, such as on safety, preventable deaths, abusive relationships, etc., for the youth and community as a whole. He noted that in the past, they worked on a program in conjunction with MetLife to have youth fingerprinted for positive identification to use in various situations.
“We want to be a progressive Coroner’s Office to take Tift County in the next generation,” Melton said. “We want to keep what has been working and improve on it. We want to have community relations.”
He added, “We are qualified and ready to serve the county as a whole. We’re asking for your vote, support and prayers.”
Melton graduated from Gupton-Jones College with a degree in mortuary science, and he graduated with the University of Georgia leadership class of county commissioners. Also, he is a member of the Independent Funeral Directors of Georgia, Georgia Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association, Georgia Funeral Service Practitioners Association, Magnolia Masonic Lodge No. 87, Georgia Notary Council, Dayspring Inspirational Church and a former member of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia. He was awarded Mortician of the Year in 1999.
Melton is married to Victoria Burr Melton, who is the principal of Omega Elementary School, and they have two children — Precious Melton, 15, who attends Tift County High School and Daughtry “D.J.” Melton IV, 14, who attends Eighth Street Middle School.
For any questions and for those who wish to help with campaigning or want a yard sign, call 387-7046.
To contact reporter Latasha Everson, call 382-4321.