Current Mayor of Brandon Butch Lee has decided to leave his mayorship in the central Mississippi town and run for Central District Transportation Commissioner.

Lee has been the Mayor of Brandon since 2013 in which he saw the city grow from Mississippi’s 21st largest to 16th largest. Prior to his time as mayor, Lee worked at the Mississippi State Fire Academy and retired from there in 2005.

“It’s been a wonderful success story in Brandon. We’ve turned it around and now have money in the bank, we figured out a way to grow,” said Lee.

His push to run for this office came when he said he saw the conflict between the Capitol and MDOT. He believes this conflict is hurting Mississippi’s economy and will have ramifications in the next census.

“I’d say we will lose, somewhere…between 63 and 66 counties are going to record a loss of population. People are leaving Mississippi because they don’t see our economy growing,” said Lee. “Part of the foundation of that is our transportation system.”

If elected, Lee plans to inject the same course of action in principals and training into MDOT, that they took in Brandon.

His priorities include protecting the transportation system investments, develop comprehensive long term funding for highway and bridge construction, accelerate project funding where county and city funds are being invested, and ease urban congestion, improve rural roads and continue building a strong transportation system.