When Elbert County Republicans assemble for precinct caucuses on March 1, there will be one fewer candidate seeking the job of county commissioner than some might have expected. Commissioner Larry Ross announced last week that he would not run for a second term as the District 3 representative.
In an open letter to Elbert County residents sent to the Elbert County News on Feb. 19, Ross announced his intentions to sit out November’s election and thanked county residents for their “friendship and support.”
“Serving you as District 3 Commissioner has been both challenging and satisfying,” Ross wrote. “I have, however, chosen to not run for a second term. At the end of this year I will begin to pursue other opportunities.”
Ross said that, with the Republican caucuses approaching, letting everyone know his intentions was the right thing to do. He said he would likely return to work in real estate, a profession where he has 30 years of experience.
“I’m rooted here, and this is where I’m going to stay,” he said.
As for the future of Elbert County politics, Ross sees planning, development and managing water resources as the key issues facing his successor. Ross also wrote that his replacement should be invested in the county, have the relevant education and “be engaged in our vital agricultural economy.”
“A person whose decisions will be well grounded in the best interest of Elbert County,” Ross wrote in his letter. “I want to be assured that our best interests are served well in the future and that the special heritage, character and beauty of Elbert County be preserved for many generations to come.”
This position has led Ross to endorse, “wholeheartedly,” retired petroleum engineer Grant Thayer as his successor.
“Grant is a self-made business success … he put himself through college, had a successful career in petroleum … an MBA,” Ross said, listing Thayer’s accomplishments. “He embodies those attributes I outlined.”
Thayer is one of two candidates who have announced candidacies for the District 3 seat.
Former Elbert County Republican Chairman Scott Wills will face Thayer for the Republican slot on the ballot and was not surprised by Ross’ endorsement of Thayer.
“Many of Ross’ supporters have been working on Thayer’s campaign,” Wills said.
He said that his decision in November to run for the seat held by Ross had been a difficult one: “Larry is a good guy.”
Ross was elected in 2012, and his four-year term expires at the end of this year.