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The Villages
Saturday, May 8, 2021

Incumbent commissioner got knock on door before potential rival filed candidacy

Commissioner Garry Breeden
Commissioner Garry Breeden

An incumbent Sumter County commissioner got a knock on his door prior to a potential rival filing his candidacy papers.

Commissioner Garry Breeden of District 4 has not publicly disclosed whether he will seek another term. His seat will be up for election in 2022.

Billy Bowles Jr. of Webster had prefiled candidacy papers with the Sumter County Supervisor of Elections office.

He said he paid a visit to Breeden to tell him face to face that he would be running in District 4 as a Republican. Breeden is also a Republican.

“It’s not about him, it’s about me,” Bowles said.

Billy Bowles Jr.
Billy Bowles Jr.

He got a taste of government when he served on the Webster City Council from 2010 to 2014. And in that role he learned an important lesson.

“You can’t make everybody happy,” he said.

He also learned the importance of a balanced budget and serving the people.

Though he was born in Orange County, Bowles moved to Sumter County at a young age and graduated from South Sumter High School.

“I love Sumter County for a lot of reasons,” he said

He was in Future Farmers of America in high school and enjoys the rural lifestyle. But he also said The Villages has unquestionably raised up Sumter County and provided opportunities for many families.

“You have to have both,” he said.

Bowles and his wife are the parents of a two-year-old.

Bowles was the first crime analyst in the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. He now serves in a community outreach role for the sheriff’s office.

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