The race for District 4 Forsyth County commissioner has added another challenger.
Cindy Jones Mills will face Patrick Bell, the incumbent, and announced candidate Bill Mulrooney for the seat in the Republican primary July 31.
A county native, Mills said she’s considered running for the county commission for about a dozen years. This election cycle, the timing is right.
“I love my community, and I want District 4 to have the best representation that it can have,” she said. “I’m willing to put myself out there because I believe in myself and because I know that I will do what [residents] ask me to do.”
The District 4 post, which represents most of north Forsyth, is one of three on the commission that are up for election this year.
Last month, John Derucki announced his intention to run in District 5, which covers much of eastern Forsyth.
Incumbent Jim Boff has not said whether he plans to run again, nor has District 2 incumbent Brian Tam.
No candidates have announced for Tam’s district in south Forsyth.
Mills said she has had residents and community leaders ask her to run in the past, because they know she’s “outspoken and passionate” about issues.
Always interested in local government, Mills said she first got involved in representing a group’s interests about 10 years ago, when the county updated its comprehensive plan.
If elected commissioner, Mills said she would like to focus on boosting the local economy, shrinking bureaucracy, cutting wasteful spending and increasing accountability in the budget.
“I don’t look at being a politician as my career,” she said. “And I will vote and make decisions in office with what’s best for the county in mind, not what’s best for my next election cycle.”
Mills said her background in business and community groups has prepared her for the post.
She works as a real estate agent with Bryan Properties and is president of CMC Trucking Co., a local agricultural transportation agency.
Mills was also the general manager of Lanierland Music Park for 10 years, during which time she said she learned skills applicable to public office.
She’s served for nearly 11 years as a volunteer on the county’s parks and recreation board, from which she recently resigned.
Mills is also a charter member and president-elect of the North Forsyth 400 Rotary Club, organizer of Community Business Bank and member of the Forsyth County Parks Foundation.
She also was instrumental in launching a program providing counseling and career opportunities to at-risk students at Gateway Academy.
In the past, she’s served on the advisory board for the Council for Quality Growth and the board for the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce.
Seeking elected office was a “natural progression” of her involvement, Mills said.
Mills is a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church, where she teaches Sunday school and Wednesday night youth Bible study.
She has two grown daughters, one who is married and another attending Furman University.