Some became a little emotional during the Bulloch County Commission meeting Tuesday when Commissioner Jan Tankersley announced she was stepping down in order to run for a state representative position.
Tankersley, a Republican, plans to run in state Rep. Bob Lane's place. Lane announced Monday he is retiring and will not run for office.
"I made a tough decision over the weekend," Tankersley told the other commissioners during the meeting. She said she hopes, if elected, she can " bring some balance into some of these bills that have an impact on a local level."
Pursuing the House of Representatives District 158 seat, Tankersley leaves two years remaining in her county commission term. She has been on the commission since 2000. The position will either be placed on the ballot in an upcoming election or a replacement will be appointed. No decision has yet been made regarding the issue.
"I believe the time for me to run for House District Seat 158 is now," she said in a released statement. "I see the challenges our state faces as an opportunity for positive changes that can be made is partisan politics are put aside to just do what is right for those folks who elected us to serve."
Tankersley told commissioners she plans to qualify April 26, but is not sure when she will step down as commissioner. She is also in her final week as president of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia. She holds several other state leadership positions, appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, and was listed in January by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Georgians."
All commissioners and several other county employees offered congratulations paired with regret that she was leaving.
"We have mixed emotions," said Bulloch County Commission Chairman Garrett Nevil. "We will miss you seriously, but on the other hand, we congratulate you."
Tankersley lives in Brooklet with husband Hughie. The couple has two adult children and three grandchildren.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.