Skip to content

Woods Announces Candidacy for District Three Commissioner

News Editor

Photo by Lydia Berglar – General Bob Woods

Brigadier General Bob Woods has chosen to run for District Three Commissioner. He sat down with the Sentinel to discuss his reasons for running, his experience and qualifications, and his appreciation of Dade County.

He said, “I served my country for over 30 years, and now I’m serving my county. I want to continue to do that.”

Woods was born in Augusta, Ga., and after 30 years of active duty service with the U.S. Army, he retired with his wife, Nadine (McMahan), in Rising Fawn, Ga. He recalled, “My wife, Nadine, was raised in Rising Fawn. I made a deal with her early on in our marriage. I was a young man in the army, and I said, ‘I think I’m going to do this for a living, and I’ll drag you all around the world, but I’ll retire wherever you want.’ She said, ‘I’d like to go home.’”

Woods’ education, awards, and experience is extensive. Several highlights include his completion of the General Officer Capstone Course at the U.S. Air War College, receiving the Distinguished Service Medal, and serving as Commanding General of 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command. For a complete list of his experience, contact Woods at 423-413-9106 or

When asked why he chose to run for the county commission, Woods replied, “I’m still at an age where I feel like I can contribute. When Robert Goff said he wasn’t going to run anymore, I decided that this was an opportunity for me to support Dade County.”

Previously, Woods served as commander of the Legion Post in Trenton. He served on the Dade County Board of Education and on the chamber of commerce board. He explained, “When we needed a new chamber of commerce, they asked me to be one of the founding members for what is now the Alliance for Dade. I also served with Inspire Weekend for eight years.”

Woods believes that his career experience has prepared him to serve Dade County as a commissioner. “I had many years of leadership and management (which included handling budgets) in my U.S. military career. My wife and I are also business owners here in Dade County, [running the General Woods Inn]. I know what it’s like to be a family-owned business within the county.”

Looking to the future of Dade County, Woods highlighted three areas, beginning with our small-town culture. “I think we need to maintain our small town culture, where people know each other, they know their families, and we care for each other.”

Second, he addressed the need for business growth in a desirable, controlled way. “We should, in a smart way, continue developing our industrial park. There’s a place for businesses coming in. I need to do more homework on that, but that’s an initial thing I’m interested in.”

Tying both of these points together, he said, “There are people who say they don’t want Dade County to grow. I see that view, but I think we should figure out how to maintain our small-town culture while bringing in appropriate businesses that we need and having them in the right locations.”

Third, Woods said, “I fully support our agricultural families and their businesses. We have many of them in our county.”

When asked how tourism plays into the county, economy, and local infrastructure, Woods said, “The Alliance for Dade is focused on tourism, and it should be. I think we need to continue to figure out the best way to bring people here – not to live here, but to come in, spend time here, then head back, and tell their friends [about Dade County]. It’s a great place to visit.”

Woods added that traffic in the county (specifically Trenton) ought to be addressed. “We all know when to come into Trenton and when not to come into Trenton. I’m not complaining about the linemen school because they do a lot for this community or the school buses – which we need – but we all know when they get out and when the school buses are driving around. Figuring out better ways to route traffic would be a good thing.”

While he didn’t grow up in the county, Woods has a deep appreciation for this place. Having experienced many other cities and countries enhances his perspective. “There are other places that are nice to visit, but I don’t want to live anywhere but here.”

He explained, “One thing I like about living here is that people know you. They say hello. Unlike a major metropolitan place, you have time to chat with people. There’s no doubt in my mind that when you call someone, they’ll come help. When I’ve needed help, people have come, and I’ve stopped to help people.”

If elected to the county commission, Woods hopes to continue listening to his Dade County neighbors. “It’s important to me that I listen to people. I take their interests to heart and do the very best I can. I won’t promise this or that because the only promise I can make is that I will do the very best I can. I appreciate that people already come up and talk to me.”

Having grown up in a working class family, Woods believes in the importance of vocational training for Dade County’s young people. He explained, “My dad was a construction worker who quit school in the ninth grade. My mom graduated high school and was a secretary for many decades. I graduated high school, but my family and I never had any plans what to do afterward, so I just kind of figured it out.”

He continued, “When I was on the school board, I wanted to promote vocational training for the children here in Dade County. If the topic ever comes up, as a county commissioner, I’ll be in favor of it. I like the idea of students having internships in their senior year to work in the afternoons so they can get a feel for industries.”

He recalled, “I’ll always remember when we showed folks from the industrial park the high school’s vocational training programs. In the welding room, a young man there knew what he was talking about and answered specific questions in detail. The principal later told us that this particular student had been in trouble all the time before finding his niche and thriving in the welding program.”

Of utmost importance to any county, state, or nation, says Woods, is the ability to discuss rationally and respectfully in order to reach the best solution possible. He explained, “Regardless of the subject – some of which will be volatile and emotional – people have to be willing to speak with each other and have disagreements without making it personal or speaking ill of another person. The problem our nation has developed is that people are not willing to discuss and then make compromises with the people they see as opposition. We need the ability to rationally and calmly discuss all courses of action to come up with a viable solution.”

He continued, “If I’m elected, I’m looking forward to individually stating my opinion on various matters. I’ll do my homework prior to the meetings and then express my opinions and explain my rationale for those opinions. I don’t want people to ever doubt where I stand on something or what I believe. Regardless of whether they agree with me or not, I think it’s important that they can say, ‘At least with Bob Woods, we know where he stands.’”

Leave a Comment