Habersham Co. - Local attorney Bruce Harkness announced on air during The Morning After on WCHM that he will be running for District 4 County Commissioner seat.
“Unless the good Lord directs otherwise, I’m going to be running for county commission,” Harkness says.
The seat is currently held by Natalie Crawford who recently announced she was seeking one last term for the position.
Harkness lives in the Sweetgrass subdivision in Demorest, on Double Bridge Road, making him a part of District 4. He is an attorney at Harkness Law Firm in Demorest.
“I want to go ahead and say, this is not necessarily me running against her. This is me running for the job, for the position,” Harkness says. “I want to put myself out there for the people and I’m willing to take this job on.”
“I’ve thought about it honestly for 20 years,” Harkness says. “What made me wake up the other morning and decide I think I’m going to do this is honestly my age.”
Harkness continues, saying “I’m getting to the point that I’m looking towards retirement. I’m 57 and by next year if I take office, if the good people vote me in, I’ll be 58 years old. Then when I finish the four-year term I’ll be 62. This is now or never, I’m either going to do it now or I’m not going to do it.”
When asked about his political beliefs, Harkness says “I want to let people know I’m a Christian, Republican, Conservative, lived here all my life. Good or bad, I’ve lived here all my life and I love the great people of this county.”
“I’ve worked for the last 10 years with the City of Demorest in one job or another,” Harkness says. “Either two terms on the council or with the downtown development. I think I’m leaving them in a good, good spot. They’ve got over $2 million in reserves.”
Qualifying begins the first week of March. Harkness goes on to state that this means he would have to resign relatively soon in order to pursue the position.
“I’m going to resign at the first meeting in March at the city council meeting in Demorest,” Harkness says.
This seat covers Demorest and part of Mt. Airy.
“I am going to run a very positive campaign,” Harkness says. “I’m not going to say one negative word about my opponent.”
Harkness goes on, saying “Mrs. Crawford, we should applaud her for the last eight years that she’s worked hard because you don’t have people lining up for these jobs. She’s worked hard for this county and I applaud her.”
“I’m just offering myself to the citizens for this position and I’m not going to have anything negative to say about her or anybody else. I’m willing to work hard for the citizens,” Harkness says.
While some citizens do not want Habersham to change, and some reject growth, Harkness talks about the future growth of the county, saying “Growth is coming, and we need managed growth. How are we going to send services to all these people and that’s where I come in. I believe I’ve got the knowledge and the capability to bring water and sewer knowledge to the commission.”
“Right now we have no plan. We have no county water and sewer plan, we have no plan whatsoever,” Harkness says. “We have no plan for growth, we have no plan for county water and sewer and that’s where I come in. I want to actually work hard with other commissioners to develop a county-wide water and sewer plan.”
Harkness goes on, saying “Mount Vernon Mills just shut down, lost 700 jobs. Caught us by surprise. We need to be on top of these things. As a county commissioner, I want to work with all these big plants and so forth and know what’s going on so we can be prepared.”
“If I get elected, I’m going to say pump the breaks on taxing and spending,” Harkness says. “The people have got to stop being taxed to death.”