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Nesbitt waits to announce election plans

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

CONYERS -- Rockdale County Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said he is still contemplating whether he will seek re-election to a second term in 2012 on the county Board of Commissioners.

Rockdale County Commission Chairman Richard Oden and challengers from both parties for both Oden's and Nesbitt's seats have been running their campaigns since the start of the year, even though the party primary elections are still more than a year away.

Nesbitt has not made an announcement yet on his plans for 2012. He said supporters have asked him about his reelection campaign. Nesbitt promised he will decide in the next two months.

"I've had friends call me when something happens on the national level and ask me 'Well, when are you going to run?' or 'Why aren't you doing this?'" Nesbitt said. "I tell them it's a different situation, and I'll make a decision soon."

Nesbitt and Oden became the first black county commissioner and chairman in Rockdale's history when they won election in 2008. They were also the first Democrats to hold positions on the Board of Commissioners since Charles Smith left office as county chairman in 1988.

Nesbitt said the job is tough, but the reward is great in knowing he is working to move the county forward. Nesbitt said he's always voted on matters that he believed are best for county and from research of the facts at hand.

To critics, he said you can't make it personal.

"You can't say that you're running against someone else," he said. "It has to be you're running for this seat. It belongs to the people, and I'm only occupying it at the moment."

Winston McDonald is the only announced candidate for Nesbitt's Post 1 BOC seat. McDonald, who announced his candidacy in December, owns a warehouse and transport company in Atlanta and is running as a Democrat.

Republicans Brad Smith and Ed Conway announced they will seek the county chairmanship in 2012. Democrat Brian Jenkins also announced his plans to run for county chairman.