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Columbia Councilman Sam Davis announces retirement

Sam Davis said he will not seek re-election when his term expires.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Longtime Columbia City Councilman Sam Davis has announced he is retiring and will not seek reelection this year.

Davis made the announcement Wednesday at council chambers. His term ends at the end of the year. 

"It's time," he said. "It's time for some new blood. It's time for someone else to come in and add to the mission of this city."

Davis has served on the council since 1998, making him the longest-serving member of the council. He represents District One, which covers north Columbia including the North Main and Earlewood neighborhoods, and extends north along Broad River Road out to Harbison. 

He cited among his accomplishments the growth of new investment and business in the North Main area. In recent years, that area has seen longtime shops such as Cromer's Peanuts relocate there, the Solomon Law Firm refurbish a building and move in, and other businesses. 

"I feel good about the goals we developed together," he said. "I feel good about efforts to increase the quality of life from people in the district that I represent."

Davis said this was not an overnight decision; rather, it was something he's been planning and considering for some time. 'It's always good to leave before they carry you out," he quipped.

He said for his remaining time in office, he's going to continue to press for property maintenance and code upgrades, making fresh food and groceries more accessible to all, and for an increase in causing investments for small minority owned businesses. 

But he said after his term ends, his goal is to step away. 

"I want to stay out of the way," he said. ""I think your service should serve as a stepping stone to your successor."