Dearing Mayor Sean Kelley surprised citizens Tuesday when he announced that he would not seek reelection to the position he has held for 14 years.

Kelley, who has served as mayor of the Town of Dearing, a McDuffie County town with a population of approximately 750 people, since 2006 told attendees of the State of Community event in Thomson Jan. 7 that it is time for him to step down and someone else to step into the position.

Kelley made his departure announcement as part of his presentation about the growth of Dearing, school improvements, new businesses coming to town, such as Dollar General, the growth of established restaurants and how the town is becoming an agri-tourism destination with the White Hills Farm, the McDuffie Public Fishing Area and Hillcrest Farm. He also announced a Feb. 7 grand opening for the town’s new community center.

“Everything going on in Dearing is positive,” Kelley said. He then surprised the audience by saying, “For the last 14 years I have been mayor of Dearing and I have enjoyed it, but I am going to officially announce in 2020-21 that I have no intention of running again,” he said.   Kelley said he has enjoyed the job and the people he has met but it is time to step aside.  Voters will elect a new mayor in November 2021.  

Kelley has shared the governing of Dearing with a Town Council that includes Mike McTier, Allen Axon, Joshua Rodgers and Ray Silverstein and Town Clerk Judy Reeves.

“My time has come and by doing this now I’m hoping that we can get somebody to step up to build the community and do a good job with the town.”

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