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Russell Edwards Is Running for Commission District 7

Flagpole reported a couple of weeks ago that activist and business owner Russell Edwards was considering a run for mayor.

As it turns out, Edwards is passing on that race, but he will seek the Commission District 7 seat currently held by Diane Bell.

In a statement released this afternoon, Edwards said:

Earlier this month I began an exploratory effort toward considering a run for the mayor’s seat in Athens, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.  During that process, however, I have determined that a run for mayor at this time could be counterproductive to the goals that I and other like-minded folks in Athens share.
My goal is to improve the lives of my neighbors and everyone in our community, and having more than one candidate running on a similar platform could result in a split vote which may endanger that goal.
I’ve spoken candidly with Commissioner Kelly Girtz about my vision for Athens. We share many of the same ideas, and many of the same friends and contacts. I believe that a campaign battle between Girtz and myself could work against realizing our shared goals, and I do not want to see that happen.
Therefore, I will instead run to represent District 7 on the County Commission.  I am just as excited by this prospect and look forward to serving our great community.  I am putting together my team and will release more details soon.  I hope I can count on your continued support as we all work for a better Athens.
Bell, whose first term is up next year, is considered vulnerable because she angered many constituents by secretly attempting to scuttle a Milledge Circle historic district.
Edwards ran for Congress against former Rep. Paul Broun in 2010, while he was still in law school, and led the fight against a proposed downtown Walmart a few years back. He owns Agora Vintage with his wife, Airee.