Mayor Lewis announces she won’t seek re-election

Mayor Bonnie Lewis addresses the crowd at the Lynchburg Bicentennial Celebration last October. On Friday, she announced that she did not plan to run for a second term as Moore County Mayor. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — With the official filing deadline happening on April 7, Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis announced last Friday that she will not seek a second term as Lynchburg’s mayor.

While in office, Mayor Lewis says some of her favorite accomplishments were overseeing the building of a new Moore County Health Department and the completion of MCHS renovations. She also assisted in bringing more fiber Internet to rural Moore County through a partnership with Monster Broadband. Mayor Lewis nudged along two TDOT projects including the expansion of Highway 55 with a turning lane at Moore County High School – a project that will begin after she leaves office. That project will be followed by the widening of Highway 55 at Dillingham Hill.

Mayor Lewis also worked directly with the Jack Daniel Distillery and Metro Utility Department on a over $2 million solution to solve low water pressure in the south end of Moore County.

“One of our major accomplishments has been the wonderful communication between the Mayor’s office and all the department heads,” Mayor Lewis said. “We meet monthly to stay informed and on the same page.”

Retiring to spend time with family

Mayor Lewis says that she decided not to run for re-election after months of consideration and conversation with family, friends, and co-workers.

“I have been weighing several factors including my age and my desire to join my husband, Randall, in his retirement,” she said. “He has a two year head start on me.”

The mayor’s office is a 24/7 position with time spent after hours and on weekends as the norm instead of the exception. Mayor Lewis pointed to a desire to spend more time with her family as a key factor.

“My family has experienced some huge changes since my election in 2018,” she explained. “We’ve lost parents and gained two new grandchildren. I want more time with all of my family while I can still enjoy them.”

Mayor Lewis stated that her past two years in office have felt more like 10 due COVID-19 and it’s trickle down effect on her tiny town. She also said that even one more term wouldn’t be enough to finish her to do list for Moore County.

“I realize that even if I ran for four more years, I’d never be able to accomplish the ever-growing to-do list that continues to grow in my head, daily,” she said.

Mayor Lewis says despite the fact that she does not intend to serve a second term, she has no plans to slow down into a lame duck.

“I have five months left in my term and I plan to work hard to complete as many projects as possible.”

Will run for second district Metro Council seat

In a twist, Mayor Lewis used the same opportunity to announce that she did not plan to run for re-election as mayor but plans, instead, to run for a second district Metro Council seat to keep her institutional knowledge working for Moore County.

“I think the best way I can serve Moore County is to not take all of the knowledge I’ve gained over the past four years home,” she said. “With the help of a great team, we have just finished a very good audit for fiscal year 2021 and I want the absolute best for our county.”

Moore County’s official filing day for mayoral candidates is this Thursday, April 7. The Times will publish a full list of candidates once they are available. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally owned newspaper in Lynchburg and also the only woman-owned newspaper in Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}