The first candidate for the District 8 seat on the Augusta Commission announced his run this week.
Brandon Garrett, an account executive for Lamar Advertising, said he wants to bring energy and unity to the commission.
“That’s one of the things holding Augusta back, people who are so proud of their area and don’t realize we’re all in this together,” said Garrett, 37.
Garrett lived in the Goshen community for years before moving to the mini-farm of his wife’s family in the Hephzibah area. The couple is raising their two sons to know where food comes from, including pigs, chickens and a large food garden, he said.
District 8 is the largest and most rural of Augusta’s eight regular commission districts. It includes most of Fort Gordon and the municipalities of Hephzibah and Blythe and stretches east along the southern boundary of Augusta-Richmond County to the Savannah River.
Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle is completing his second term on the commission representing District 8 and is term-limited. Elections for nonpartisan commission seats are May 22.
Garrett, who serves on Augusta’s planning commission, said he realized almost immediately that building an arena at the vacant Regency Mall site was a bad idea and his neighbors mostly agree.
“Most of the people I’ve talked to think it’s a silly idea to put the arena there,” he said. “Arenas in cities this size are usually downtown where there is stuff to support them.”
Guilfoyle also voted against the controversial proposal, which is backed by Mayor Hardie Davis but opposed by many of the area’s business leaders.
Garrett said he’d like to see something – such as the Augusta Technical College campus – capitalize on the mall site’s prominent location.
He said he hopes to get to serve so more will join him in putting down roots in Augusta.
“I’ve always tried to serve somehow, and I hope this is another way I can serve, and serve well,” Garrett said.