Brad Brookshire has announced he will seek the 4th District seat on the Bryan County Board of Commissioners in the Nov. 8 election.
Brookshire, 35, is city president at Ameris Bank and has long been involved in several community organizations. He is currently chairman of the city of Richmond Hill’s Downtown Development Authority and vice chair of the Development Authority of Bryan County. He’s also the new president of Rotary and past president of both the Exchange Club and Chamber of Commerce.
“I wouldn’t say this is the next step because I don’t consider being involved and giving back to the community to be steps, but it’s an opportunity to take what I’ve learned and put it to work,” the Republican said.
The 4th District seat became vacant when two-time incumbent Carter Infinger stepped down in March to seek the commissioners chairman seat. State law does not allow a person to hold one elective office while seeking another. Infinger defeated Tim Gaylor in the May 26 primary and will become chairman in January. Current Chairman Jimmy Burnsed chose not to see re-election
Commissioners in April appointed Dallas Daniel to fill the seat temporarily after he indicated he would not run for it. Commissioners at the time said they did not want to give any candidate an advantage or make it seem as though they were favoring one candidate over another by appointing someone who wanted to run for the seat.
“Bryan County is going to be dealing with some major issues over the next 12 to 18 months,” Brookshire said. “Being younger I can offer a little bit different perspective. I’m not saying that’s good or bad, just different.”
Brookshire, a graduate of Richmond Hill High School, returned home after earning a business degree from the University of Georgia to start his banking career.
“That’s one reason I got involved with the development authority, because I want to see more opportunities for kids to move back here after college and have a career,” he said. “We have to keep and make the quality of life here better and better.”
Brookshire said he believes infrastructure — such as the county’s sewer and water systems — as well as making sure roads can handle ever increasing traffic loads are among the county’s top priorities.
Although the race for the 4th District seat is being held on Nov. 8, it is technically considered a special election because its purpose is to fill the remainder of Infinger’s term, which ends in December 2018. Qualifying for the race begins at 9 a.m. Aug. 10 and ends at noon Aug. 12, according to Bryan County Elections Supervisor Cindy Reynolds. If more than two candidates qualify and none of them receive 50 percent plus one vote, a run-off would be held Jan. 10.
John Ring, who has been helping to re-establish a Democratic Party in Bryan County, said he does not know of any Democrats who plan to run for the seat.
Brookshire will host a “meet the candidate” event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. July 28 at the Richmond Hill History Museum.