CAIRO — Shiver Elementary School resource officer Donald "Dickie" Thomas has announced his intentions to run for Grady County sheriff.

Despite the announcement, Thomas said Monday that he was not yet ready to provide comment on his candidacy.

The position of Grady County Sheriff, held by Harry Young for the past 15 years, won't be up for election again until November 2020, but Thomas said he wanted to state his intentions to run for that office now.

Thomas previously served in the sheriff's office for 12 years, first in the jail and then as a deputy, until he departed in January. He also briefly served in the Department of Corrections and the Meigs Police Department.

Young has stated that he plans to run for a fifth term next year.

Elections for sheriffs are partisan in Grady County, and Young says he plans to run as a Republican like he did in 2016. Thomas has not announced under what political party a potential campaign may run.

Individuals can officially file for candidacy during the qualifying period next year, which will take place March 2-6.

The winner of the election will serve a four-year term.