AMHERST Co., Va. (WSET) -- Former Amherst County Sheriff Jimmy Ayers has announced his intention to run for the seat of House District 24th that will be vacated by Del. Ben Cline, who recently won the 6th District Congressional seat.
Ayers is an Amherst County native and has more than 30 years of public service experience.
He served as the sheriff for 20 years and retired in 2015 before running for the District 3 Board of Supervisors seat and is currently the vice chair of the board.
"He has been a strong voice for common sense change in the County; he will carry that same pragmatic approach to governing for the 24th District," a release stated. "Jimmy is a principled defender of the Constitution, an ardent pro-life supporter, and will passionately defend our Second Amendment."
In a statement, he said he will bring his years of law enforcement to Richmond and make sure that public safety men and women are properly trained and equipped and will look for ways to encourage young people to follow a career in public safety.
"Education, looking out for seniors and honoring and respecting our Veterans will be key issues for Jimmy," the statement said.
Ayers has received the support of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association.
Four other Republicans have announced their intent to also run for Cline's seat, including Katie Austin Brown, a business owner from Rockbridge County and daughter of Del. Terry Austin; Ronnie Campbell, a retired Virginia State Police trooper and member of Rockbridge County's Board of Supervisors; Alan Ferguson, from Amherst County; and Jay Lewis, a member of the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors.
There will be a primary on November 17 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
There will be a special election for the seat on December 18.