Former Greenville Forward Executive Director Russell Stall said Wednesday he plans to run for the Greenville City Council seat now held by Gaye Sprague.

Sprague announced Tuesday she would not seek re-election to one of the Council’s two at-large seats. She has held that office since 2009.

Shortly after Sprague’s announcement, Greenville businessman John DeWorken said he planned to run for the seat as a Republican. DeWorken was formerly the vice president of the Greenville Chamber and the Upstate Chamber Coalition, vice chair of the Greenville Transit Authority, legislative director of the S.C. Senate Transportation Committee and associate vice president of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce. DeWorken, 44, is owner and partner of Sunnie and DeWorken, a government relations and pro-business advocacy firm.

Stall said in the year and a half since he retired from Greenville Forward, he felt a “huge void” in helping Greenville continue to be an incredible place to live. “The timing is right. I have the time and the energy,” he said. “It’s part of my plan to give back to Greenville.”

Greenville Forward was established in 2006 to facilitate and shepherd Vision 2025, a plan that pictured a place with new, state-of-the-art schools, a marquee park along the Reedy River and minor league baseball downtown. The hundreds of community members that helped come up with the plan wanted a place to live that embraced diversity, offered high-wage jobs and thriving suburban municipalities.

Stall said his platform includes intentional and sustainable growth, affordable housing and transportation. “There aren’t many places that have come as far as this community has come in just a generation,” he said. “I just truly love Greenville and want to be part of continuing to make it one of the best places in the world.”

Stall said he would run as a Democrat. He plans a formal announcement in February.

DeWorken said among the city’s most pressing issues are effectively managing Greenville’s growth, dealing with traffic issues and ensuring neighborhoods have a voice on City Council.

 

 

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