Stokes County Commissioner Ronda Jones announced on Monday she won’t be filing to run for office in 2018.
“I announced during the last election cycle that I would not be running for another consecutive term,” she said. “Despite this, I did reconsider since I had so many wonderful citizens encouraging me to run for re-election. After great thought over a course of many months, I felt it imperative that I honor my original decision.”
Jones said she believes there’s a culture of distrust of elected officials and to run may only deepen this distrust locally.
“I’m not willing to take that chance. I felt it only fair to announce it early. There will be more opportunities to run for other elections. On another note, I do believe in term limits and conveyed that I would self-impose a term limit. Ultimately, it is a matter of integrity.”
Jones came on as a county commissioner in 2010, but began preparing for the role four years earlier.
“I enrolled in a program called Women in Public Service held at Peace College. Once completed, I began going to the day commissioner meetings during my workday for an hour or so to get a pulse on the position, as well as, the county workings.”
In 2008 she ran in the primary, but lost by a close margin to incumbent Jimmy Walker.
“I ran for commissioner because I felt I had a duty to do so. As a woman, I observed that compared to many of my counterparts that I had been blessed with a diverse education, being a business owner, diverse life experiences, owned property and had raised two exceptional children. My blessings came with lots of adversity, but I was aware that I was in a position to at least try to make a positive difference and inspire others.”
She added, “I knew that I would have the courage to say what others are thinking, to not be bought, bullied or manipulated by the system of things, as well as, in touch with the working community.”
At this point, Jones said if she had one wish for the county it would be pragmatic light and building ordinances that would enhance the county’s quality of life and economic development.
“I’ve seen the plans for the highway construction for the next three decades. Stokes is currently a dark zone and has the potential to gain the right type of economic growth for our beautiful county by simply being “dark” if we are forward thinking, but we must get moving on this now with citizen support or it will be a lost opportunity,” she said.
Also at the top of her list is tempering the opioid crisis, a student enrollment increase, children and families in need be reduced, more internet access, increased public transportation and the hospital settled and secure.
“I don’t know what the future holds, but not running for re-election in 2018 doesn’t mean goodbye. Time to reevaluate, reorganize and reenergize may prove to be the best for all of us. It is my hope that it does. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve our county, region and state. I would like thank all voters who made it possible.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.