Two Columbia County commissioners on Tuesday announced their intentions to run for re-election.
Commission Chairman Ron Cross and Commissioner Scott Dean together stated their desire to seek another term during a campaign announcement at the Evans Government Center.
Though the primary election still is eight months away, the officials said they wanted to announce their re-election bids now to quell rumors that they were not going to seek another term of office.
"Hopefully, you won't have to hear from me again until the spring," Cross said to a capacity crowd.
Though no one officially has come forward to oppose Dean, retired businessman Brett McGuire, of Appling, recently filed a declaration of intention to accept campaign contributions with the county Board of Elections office in a bid to unseat Cross.
Such a declaration is necessary to start accepting campaign contributions. As incumbents, Cross and Dean needed to make no such formal proclamation.
A retired general contractor, Cross first was elected to office in 2002. He is seeking his third term as commission chairman.
Cross said he believes in small government and less taxes.
"I promise that I will never vote to raise the millage rate," he said.
Commissioner Ron Thigpen, whose term also expires next year, was one of many officials to speak on behalf of Cross at the event.
"He is always focused on your tax dollars," Thigpen said. "He is always challenging our department heads to do more with less."
Dean, an agriculture sanitary specialist with the state Department of Agriculture, took the District 4 seat in 2007 to fill the unexpired term of Lee Anderson, who resigned to make a successful run for the state Legislature. Previously, Dean served six years as Harlem's mayor and two years on the city council.
Dean said that good leadership is what has led to Columbia County attaining numerous "best places to live" recognitions in such national magazines as Family Circle and Money .
"Now is not the time to change quarterbacks," he said.
McGuire previously ran unsuccessful campaigns for state Senate and House seats.
All three men are running as Republicans in the partisan races.
Primary elections will be held in July.
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