Oak Ridge Town Councilmember George McClellan recently announced that he is “98 percent” sure he’ll be running for the District 3 Guilford County commissioners seat next year – which may be a good indication that current Republican District 3 Commissioner Justin Conrad won’t run. 

McClellan, also a Republican, thinks a great deal of Conrad and believes Conrad is doing a great job, and says so often.  So, many have taken McClellan’s likely run as a signal that Conrad will not throw his hat into the ring for a third four-year term in that seat.

Conrad told the Rhino Times this week that he’s undecided.  He said that, if everything is the same in his life and in Guilford County government in December, then he will be leaning toward not running again – but he added that things can always change. 

Conrad said he had discussed the 2022 race with McClellan.

He also said that a potential redistricting of the Guilford County commissioners’ districts might make that discussion moot.

“He’s asked me a question,” Conrad said of McClellan’s inquiry into Conrad’s political plans, “and I said, you know, there’s six or seven months before I make a decision.”

Conrad said its way too early in 2021 to decide about the 2022 race.

“First of all, how premature is that?” Conrad said.  “Nobody knows what the districts are going to look like.  He might not even live in District 3. I might not be in District 3.”

Conrad said he knew that McClellan wanted to run, but he, Conrad, said he also knew McClellan didn’t want to run against him. 

Conrad said McClellan contacted him in May.

“I said, ‘I don’t know,’ and he said, ‘Well, I feel like I’ve got to make an announcement because I have to fundraise.’  And I said, ‘George, you do what you’ve got to do.’”

Conrad said he simply can’t say for sure one way or the other right now.

“It’s crazy, because so much can change,” Conrad said.

He said that, at the end of the year, if “everything was exactly like it is now,” the answer would likely be no – however, he added quickly that so much can change that, at this point, “It’s just too early to say.”