Columbia County commissioner Bill Morris will not seek re-election, as qualifying is set to begin next month for local races.
Morris, who is in his second term as District 4 commissioner, said eight years is enough.
“The truth is I only wanted to serve one term and I went ahead and said OK, I’ll run for a second term and I did and I won,” Morris said. “But I realized pretty early on, I’m not a very good politician.”
Morris’ wife, Lillie, called her husband more of a public servant than a politician.
“He was a teacher, principal, public school administrator, assistant superintendent, his whole adult life has been centered around pubic service, and there’s a big difference between being a politician and a public servant,” Lillie Morris said.
But Morris said he he has done what he can while in office, adding that he believes in the importance of term limits.
“I’m not knocking people who are in it for the long haul, they believe in what they’re doing and they’re doing a lot of good, but it just wasn’t a good fit,” Morris said.
Charles Dozier Johnson Jr. filed a declaration of intent in August seeking Morris’ seat.
Returning for another opportunity on the commission is Hafeez Chaudhry who filed a declaration of intent for the District 1 commission seat Aug. 24 . Chaudhry made an unsuccessful attempt to unseat longtime commission chairman Ron Cross in the 2014 election. Connie Melear has also filed a declaration of intent for the District 1 seat.
District 1 commission incumbent Doug Duncan is making a bid for Cross’ seat, alongside former EMA Director Pam Tucker and Mark Herbert, who each filed declarations of intent last year.
Cross, the chairman incumbent for the past 16 years, has not made an announcement on his plans to seek re-election, but said he plans to wait until qualifying in March to make a decision.
Columbia County Education District 2 board member Kristy Baker has confirmed she will seek re-election and to date, none have filed declarations of intent to challenge her.
District 3 board member Mike Sleeper is also up for re-election, but did not reply to an email inquiring about a decision on whether or not he will seek re-election, and two have filed delcarations of intent to challenge him.
George Douglas Bratcher and Andrew T. Kemp plan to run for Sleeper’s seat in May.
Qualifying for commission and school board begins March 5 and ends noon March 9. Elections are May 22 for general primary and general non-primary contests.