Phil Smartt is the first contender to announce a campaign for County Commission District 7 in next year's election.
County Commission Chairman Larry Henry announced Wednesday that he will vacate the District 7 post he has long held to make a race for Circuit Court clerk.
Campaign petitions can be picked up Nov. 22. The county primary is May 6 and the general election is Aug. 7.
It will be the first political race for Mr. Smartt, 69, but he stressed his experience in business and in government.
He operated Phil Smartt Insurance until selling it in 2011 when he and his wife went on a two-year church mission to Bosnia. They recently returned from the mission.
Mr. Smartt noted that he served six years on the County School Board, including a year as chairman. He also served some 10 years on the county Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority board.
He said, "I believe county government is running well, and I want to help keep it that way."
He is a former bishop and stake president for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is now a Sunday School teacher.
Mr. Smartt was a founding member of the Pachyderm Club and past president. He was also a founding member of the Hamilton Place Rotary Club.
He was involved in the Mitt Romney campaign for president in 2008 and was Third District chairman for Ronald Reagan.