Former Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes had made it no secret that he was going to seek the mayor of Summerfield job, and on Friday, July 5, he wasted no time making that run official:  As soon as the filing period for candidates opened, Barnes filed with the Guilford County Board of Elections Office to run for that position.

Barnes also issued a press release regarding his decision.

“Today I filed for the office of Mayor of Summerfield,” he wrote. “As a servant leader I have lived my life trying to be of help in any way possible to make a better country, a better state, a better county and a better town,” he wrote, adding that, during his career, he has served as a Sheriff’s Department deputy, a county sheriff for 24 years, a US Marine, and as an appointee in various positions for governor’s of both parties.

In the press release, Barnes pledged to try to help bring Summerfield together.

Anyone who has kept up with the news at all over the last two years is well aware that the citizens and town government in Summerfield are bitterly divided on a number of fronts.  In Barnes’ press release, he states that current Summerfield Mayor Gail Dunham is responsible for a lot of that rancor through her actions, which he details.

“We are a diverse community where we all work together to share a quality of life that is best for families and fellow citizens,” he wrote. “I’m afraid our current mayor does not subscribe to those sentiments.”

In the press release, Barnes stated that ever since Dunham has been sworn in she has been “harsh in treatment” with those who disagree with her, but Barnes promised to return “civility” and “honor” to Summerfield government.