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Along with the University of Georgia’s influence, Bishop Mayor Johnny Pritchett successfully persuaded the Georgia Department of Transportation to rethink the Bishop bypass project. His lobbying over the past several years led to GDOT abandoning plans to widen the downtown retail portion of U.S. 441 as well as jettisoning two previously planned roundabouts. 

Last week, Pritchett announced his intention to run for chairman of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners. He will challenge incumbent John Daniell and citizen Carol Bennett. All three candidates are running on the Republican ticket. 

“I will fight for Oconee County the same way I did for Bishop,” said Pritchett. “I can see myself in that office with the door open. If somebody needs to see me, they wouldn’t need to have an appointment. They wouldn’t be turned away. I will be open and honest with them.”  

Pritchett said that if he wins, he will resign from his mayoral seat, which he has held for 16 years. Pritchett previously served two terms on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners. He lost to Jim Luke in 2004 and again in 2008. 

Pritchett retired from the Athens-Clarke County Fire Department as a fire marshal in 2005. 

For more on this story, see the Feb. 6 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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