Jerry Stewart will not seek re-election when his third term on Beaufort County Council soon ends.
Stewart — a retired chemistry professor and businessman and the council’s vice chairman — announced his decision at the council meeting on Feb. 19.
“I’ve had three terms,” Stewart, a Republican, said, when reached by phone Friday afternoon. “That’s 12 years — I think that’s enough time for anyone.”
He added that he’s “not getting younger,” and he wanted to focus on other things, such as spending time with family.
Beaufort County Republican Party Chairwoman Sherri Zedd said she was not aware of anyone who’d announced their intent to run for Stewart’s District 6 seat, which includes Sun City and Okatie.
Stewart was first elected in 2006 and has served his terms consecutively. He ran unsuccessfully for a S.C. House seat in 2012.
He is the third would-be Republican incumbent to recently announce he won’t seek re-election.
In January, District 8 (Hilton Head Island/Bluffton) Councilman Rick Caporale said he would not run. Greater Bluffton Republican Club Treasurer Chris Hervochon announced his candidacy for the seat at about the same time.
And on Monday, Roberts “Tabor” Vaux Jr. announced he won’t seek re-election to his District 9 seat, which includes Bluffton, Pritchardville and Daufuskie Island. Fellow Bluffton residents Mike Raymond and Mark Lawson will square off in June’s Republican primary.
During his time on council, Stewart has chaired the executive and finance committees, and has served as a liaison to the city of Hardeeville and the Technical College of the Lowcountry.
Before serving the county, he was assistant professor of chemistry at West Virginia University, chief of supporting research at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Morgantown Energy Technology Center, and chairman and CEO of Milford, Conn.-based Industrial Technologies, Inc.