William S. Wade, 16-year veteran of the Dawson County School Board, and Doug Sherrill, past Lumpkin County Commissioner, have thrown their hats into the ring to replace outgoing State Rep. Kevin Tanner. The two will face off against fellow Republicans Steven Leibel and Zack Tumlin, who announced their candidacies last week.
Doug Sherrill is no stranger to Lumpkin Countians, having served one term as county commissioner for District 1 (2012-2016) and provided land planning and development expertise as county surveyor for 12 years prior. He also serves as an ordained minister in several local churches.
He announced his run for Tanner’s office “after careful consideration and prayer,” he said. “I want to run to be the voice in the state house that will best represent our community and its needs. I believe I can provide Lumpkin and Dawson counties the leadership and conservative principles needed in this tough political climate.”
Sherrill’s record as a county commissioner point to his conservative approach to governance.
“As a county commissioner I played a key role in establishing budgets that cut taxes,” he said. “I understand what it means to sacrifice, cut budgets, contend with nonsensical regulations, take a stand for our constitutional liberties, and the difficulty of maintaining a small business ….”
Sherrill said serving as the Boys State representative during his high school years whetted his appetite for being involved in politics.
He majored in political science at North Georgia College & State University (now the University of North Georgia), later earning a Master’s in public administration.
He is also a graduate of Louisiana Baptist University in pastoral ministry, Leadership Lumpkin Class of 2013 and earned a certification from the University of Georgia in economic development.
During his time as a county commissioner Sherrill served as vice chairman, as a member of the Georgia Board of Health for District 2, vice chair of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia’s Resource and Environment committee and served on that organization’s Policy Council.
Currently, Sherrill is the owner of LDP Land Development Professionals and is a professional land surveyor and land planner. He serves as the NCEES state testing review council for land surveying exams prior to the candidate being licensed.
Married to wife Lori for 25 years, the couple are the parents of four children.
In addition to prayer, Sherrill said the main deciding factor in his decision to run was “my wife and kids. They support me 100 percent in this endeavor.
“I seems my life has been one of servant leadership. I have served our community in many various ways—as a coach, pastor, educator, and serving as Lumpkin County’s District 1 Commissioner. I am proud of my record as a commissioner and intend to take my abilities to the next level and stand for our community in Atlanta. I look forward to earning your support and vote.”
Sherrill's Facebook campaign page can be found at Vote Doug Sherrill GA House 9th District.
William Wade is a Senior Vice President/Market Executive with Southern Bank & Trust. He has been in the industry since 1998.
“I have felt a call to service ever since I heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s Drum Major speech in middle school,” Wade said.
The speech, actually a sermon given just before King’s death in 1968, concerns “the drum major instinct” to lead others.
“My parents helped me come to understand that the desire to be noticed, to feel included and even important and to potentially lead is innate in us all, but we must follow the teachings of Christ highlighted in MLK’s sermon that we must strive to be a servant leader. My true hope is to be, when given the opportunity, a leader who is known to serve others and not to seek titles or accolades,” said Wade, who actually became a drum major during his last two years of high school.
Wade has continued in a leadership role as a member of the Dawson County School Board, where he has served for 16 years—with two years to go in his current term.
“I had been wanting to give back to my community and the opportunity arose,” he said. “Someone stepped down from their position on the board and I received phone calls and encouragement to run for the seat.
“It’s a similar situation to what is happening now. I got phone calls and encouragement to run for Tanner’s seat. It made me sit down and examine my qualifications. I think it’s the right time and position to put myself out there.
”Now I have the opportunity to follow Dr. King’s example, to serve my neighbors and try to help make this area one of the best places to live and work,” Wade said. “I trust the voters, and hope they give me the opportunity of serving my community, my state and our country.”
In addition to his years as a school board member, where he held positions as vice chair; chairman; Legislative Liaison and delegate for the school system; and 9th District Congressional National School Boards Association Representative, Wade has been appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to serve on the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission. Appointed in August 2012, he is still active in the organization, which assists local governments with research, planning, building codes, financial opportunities and more. During his time on the commission he was selected as Vice Chair to the Georgia Mountains Workforce Development Council.
He also holds the position of a past-president of the Georgia School Boards Association.
Professionally, he has been a Georgia Bankers Association Public Affairs Committee member since 2012, and continues to fill that role.
Wade is a member of Rotary, and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow honor. He is a graduate of Leadership Georgia.
Wade graduated from Dawson County High School, having been in the college prep program. He attended the University of Georgia, then transferred to what is now the University of North Georgia where he earned a double major in finance and accounting. He returned to UGA where he earned a graduate degree in Banking and Business.
Wade has attended the Georgia Academy for Economic Development Region 2, Class of 2010, Leadership Georgia Class of 2011, and is scheduled to graduate the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking with a graduate degree in Banking/Wharton Business School Leadership Diploma this year.
Wade is married to Dr. Jennifer Sheffield-Wade, serving the Lumpkin County school system since 2001.
The couple has two children.
Wade campaigns website—votewillwade.com—and Facebook page—Will Wade for State House—are scheduled to go live today, Wednesday, Feb. 12.
The Nugget plans to highlight all candidates running for local office. Any candidates who have officially qualified for the upcoming election are encouraged to contact Sharon Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 706-864-3613.