published Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Bradley County Commissioner Connie Wilson will not seek re-election

Bradley County Commissioner Connie Wilson
Bradley County Commissioner Connie Wilson

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Bradley County Commissioner Connie Wilson, who holds one of two seats representing the 2nd District, announced Friday that she will not seek re-election.

"After an extraordinary amount of reflection and consideration, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election for Bradley County Commission," she said in a news release. "It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve the people of the 2nd District for the past 12 years."

Wilson said she has not ruled out other opportunities for public service in the future.

In her statement, she recounted her service as chairwoman of the commission's finance and education committees and capital improvements made to school, law enforcement and library facilities during her tenure.

Wilson joins Commission Vice Chairman J. Adam Lowe and Commissioner Ed Elkins, fellow Republicans who have also said they will not seek re-election in 2014.

Elkins, who holds a 1st District seat, said he will make a formal statement on his decision later. He has mentioned his intentions a number of times over the summer.

Lowe, a local business owner and educator who holds a 4th District seat, recently announced that he instead would run for the House District 22 seat that will be vacated by state Rep. Eric Watson, who is campaigning to be Bradley County's next sheriff.

"My wife and I have known for some time that I was feeling led to serve in a different role in our area," Lowe said at a private gathering before his announcement. "When it was clear the state seat was open, I knew that it was time to take my work ethic and experience to Nashville."

Lowe was elected to the Bradley County Commission in 2010 and selected as the body's vice chairman in September.

It has been speculated that Dan Howell, who is taking a leave of absence from his longstanding position as executive assistant to Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, also will seek Watson's vacated seat.

Howell, who represents Bradley, McMinn, Polk and Meigs counties on the Republican State Executive Committee, announced the planned leave of absence in October and said Friday that an announcement about his plans will be coming soon.

"I also look forward to what awaits me next, as many in the community have encouraged me to look at other opportunities," Howell said in a news release.

Petition forms will be available Nov. 22 for prospective candidates for the Bradley County Commission, according to the Bradley County Election Administrator's Office.

Primary elections will be held May 6 and general elections will be held Aug. 7.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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