Although the primary election wrapped up last month, Marshall Livingston, a rising senior at Bryan County High School, wants to run for sheriff.
He’s not running for the office locally, though. He plans to campaign for the seat when he attends the 2016 Georgia Boys State.
“I’m interested in a career in law enforcement, so my plan is to run for sheriff when I get there and see how it goes,” Livingston said.
Boys State, an American Legion program, creates a “51st state” during the weeklong leadership conference. Some 435 young men are selected to participate each year, with each participant being assigned to a “city” for the week. Groups of four cities make up a county. and four counties complete the “state.”
Livingston is sponsored by American Legion Post 164 in Pembroke, meaning the organization pays for his attendance and provides him with a stipend for spending money. Post Adjutant Ernie Mitchell said he cannot recall the last time the group sponsored a Boys State participant.
“It’s a pretty rigorous process,” Mitchell said. “Marshall was selected by a committee of administrators and teachers from the high school as an outstanding student who demonstrates great character.”
Livingston said he is looking forward to learning more closely how government works beyond what he has learned in civics classes.
“I wasn’t completely sure what it all was about until I attended the orientation,” he said. “Now I’m really looking forward to it.”
Georgia Boys State was established in 1940 and has about 20,000 graduates. This year’s program runs Sunday through June 18 at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, northeast of Atlanta. City, county and state offices are filled by elections, with laws and ordinances passed and enforced.
Days are also filled with athletic competitions between “cities,” instructional sessions in law enforcement, municipal government and court procedures, and devotionals.
Livingston said he has been told that participants make lifelong friends at Boys State.
“You really get to meet the cream of the crop from around the state,” he said. “Guys you may end up knowing in college.”
Aside from his interest in civics, Livingston is also dual-enrolled at Savannah Technical College, where he is learning to be a welder. He has been involved in the Tech Students Association at BCHS and plays football.