Keysville council member has big visions

Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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At 20 years of age, George Sandridge is the youngest member of the Keysville Town Council and quickly making a name for himself.

“It has been a pleasure working with George so far, said Mayor Steven Morris. He brings a fresh perspective to the table here in Keysville.”
Elected to the council in November 2018, Sandridge took his seat at the table for his first meeting in January.

“I have been interested in politics since my senior year at Randolph-Henry,” Sandridge said. “I just received my bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech, and I wanted the ability to gain relevant political experience while also helping to make Keysville a better place to live. This is basically a 4-year internship.”

Sandridge pointed out his high school teacher John Knoll for sparking his interest in politics.
“Mr. Knoll was my political science teacher, and he really sparked my interest in politics, and then my senior year in the spring I did what’s called Model General Assembly in Richmond.”

Sandridge said it was during that time he and friend Bradford Webb co-sponsored a bill and that too sparked even more of an interest.

The young councilmember not only gained experience and interest from the actives he did, his mother Rhonda Benn, is also a member of the Keysville Town Council. Benn was first elected in 2000. “It’s funny because I don’t know what to call her at the meetings,” added Sandridge. “I don’t know if I should call her mom or Rhonda or Mrs. Benn. — but it’s nice having somebody on there that I know and am really close with.”

When it comes to serving on the council Sandridge says he decided to seek election because he was disappointed in the way things were going. “Keysville has been my home for my entire life, and frankly I was disappointed in the way it was being run,” he added. “I felt that most of the elected officials were not looking years into the future but were instead looking just a day ahead. My vision of Keysville is a town where people can live in a small town, but commute to bigger cities like Richmond, Lynchburg or Farmville if necessary.”

Though he has only been on the council for a few months and is uncertain if he will seek re-election, Sandridge says for now he enjoys gaining experience and giving back to his community.

“The people I serve with are wonderful to be around,” he said. “I enjoy being a part of the decision-making process, and I feel like I am making a difference in the future of the town when I attend the meetings.”