Just before qualifying ended Friday, Nelms explained that growth opportunities for his business led to his decision to call it quits after one term.
“My business is taking off from a domestic standpoint, an international standpoint,” said Nelms, 41, who is a co-owner of a Woodstock-based company that sells vinyl sheets for seawalls and other retaining walls. “I’ve got to seize some opportunities that are there for me, which is going to take a lot more travel, a lot more time away from home.”
Nelms took his seat on the Board of Commissioners in 2010 to replace Derek Good, who had been seeking re-election but dropped out of the race and resigned from the board in the wake of controversy about his military record.
Four years later, Nelms says his company is expanding and taking more of his time, and he doesn’t think it’d be fair to go after another term, although some day he hopes try his hand at elected office again.
“I think it’s an injustice to the people for me to be a part-time kind of guy in the new term, so I’m going to step aside, focus on my business and grow it,” he said. “I’ve got the kind of personality that I’m either 100 percent in or 100 percent out.”
In the meantime, Nelms said he is supporting Gordon, a 48-year-old Woodstock architect.
“I think Scott Gordon’s going to be a great asset,” Nelms said. “I’m definitely going to endorse Scott. He’s just a good person overall.”
Gordon is going up against former Cherokee Commissioner Larry Singleton, a 55-year-old Woodstock business owner, and Joseph Robert, a 52-year-old Woodstock business owner. All three candidates qualified to seek the seat as Republicans, with no candidates from other parties joining in the race.
Gordon said in his years as an architect he has had the opportunity to work on projects that have helped Cherokee County and other communities in Georgia.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with the county, in a different capacity, to provide leadership for all the great things poised to happen in our community over the next four years,” he said in a news release Friday.
Robert said he was driven to help his community and he joined the race so the people would have more choice than only Nelms’ endorsed candidate.
“I know it’s going to be a tight field but my passion is for the county,” said Robert, who owns an automotive repair shop in Woodstock. “I live here and have owned a business here. I’ve got a couple of pet peeves that I want to try to get answers to.”
Singleton, who was on the commission more than a decade ago, said in a statement to supporters Friday he hoped to serve the county again.
“As I have over the past, I will continue to gladly serve you in any capacity,” he said in the statement.