Red Bank, SC (Paul Kirby) – Gene “Bimbo” Jones said recently that he will seek a seat on Lexington County Council in District Five. This is the seat that represents the Red Bank and South Congaree areas. The seat will be vacated in 2020 when Bobby Keisler, the longtime incumbent, retires. He announced this week he will not run again.
Jones has been known by the name Bimbo for decades. He said in a telephone interview that even many close friends don’t know that his given name is Gene. He’s been a resident of District Five for 67 years, his entire life. He was raised on SC 6 before it was known as South Lake Drive and later moved to Mac Circle.
He is married to Dorothy Jean. The couple have two sons, David Jones who’s a CRO or a spokesman and safety educator for the SC Highway Patrol, and Richard Wright, an award-winning custom motorcycle and car fabricator. Jones and his wife have three grandchildren that live in Lexington County.
For 50 years, Jones has worked in the service industry as a tire retailer. He is currently semiretired and works two days a week at Discount Tire. Dealers know that having Bimbo Jones at their business is a big customer draw for their stores. They often advertise “Bimbo is here” to increase their business.
Jones is well-known for offering help to anyone in need. He’s returned to the tire shop in the middle of the night, on weekends, and anytime someone was stuck and needed help. “I just like to help people,” Jones said during an interview. “I’ve always been that way and I taught my boys to do whatever they could to make a difference too.”
He said that serving on county council would give him a chance to do things for more people. “While Bobby Keisler held that seat, he’s done so much for the people of District Five. Now that he’s retiring, I think it’s important that someone who really wants to help people replace him.”
Jones said that he thinks that Lexington County is a great place to live and raise a family. He wants to work with the other council members to keep it that way. To do that, he thinks that a mixture of expertise and common sense is necessary. “I bring practical smarts to the table. I’ve been a working man my whole life and I know the challenges that working people have. I think my common sense will be important. I’ve learned a lot in my 67 years and that kind of experience can’t be earned in any school, you have to earn it with calluses on your hands.”
He went on to say that he’s never looked for recognition for any help he’s given anyone. “A man that does something for the recognition he gets, is doing things for the wrong reason.” Jones went on to reiterate his philosophy that giving someone a hand is the right thing to do. “Being on county council would give me the chance to keep helping a larger group of people, the entire population of Lexington County District Five.”
The primary for the seat will be held in June of 2020. The election will be in November.