Community says goodbye to two Bay County Commissioners

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Tuesday the community said goodbye to two longtime Bay County Commissioners: Mike Nelson and George Gainer.

Mike Nelson has been involved with local government for more than 20 years, and he's served on the Bay County Commission for the past 12.

George Gainer was the youngest person to become a Bay County Commissioner. He was first elected at the age of 24 and was re-elected four times after that.

Gainer will go on to Tallahassee to serve as a state senator. Nelson says he has plans to get involved in real estate.

"I knew this day would come one day," said Gainer. "I didn't know if they'd carry me out feet first or if I'd walk out, but it has certainly been the thrill of my life and the reward of my life to serve all you fine people."

"I just want to tell everybody how much I have enjoyed the last 12 years, serving all of you," said Nelson. "A lot of you happily and a few not so happy, but that's just the way it works sometimes. I appreciate you and I love the people of Bay County and I love Bay County."

Bill Dozier will fill Nelson's shoes as the Chairman of the board and Philip "Griff" Griffitts, Jr. will take over as Vice Chairman.

Tommy Hamm beat Nelson in the election and will take his seat. Who takes Gainer's seat will be decided on November 8th. It will either be Robert Carol or James Morris.