Lynchburg farmer and local business owner Dave Gingerich has taken out petitions to run for Highland County Commissioner.

Gingerich, a Republican, will campaign for the seat currently occupied by Jeremy Shaffer, who announced in December that he would not seek re-election.

As owner and operator of the Premier Stockman Feed drive-thru north of Hillsboro, Gingerich said that he was inspired by his customers to run for commissioner.

"Working in my store, every day, I see people coming in who have a hard time making ends meet," Gingerich said. "These are working people who are having a tough time.

"I think because of my background, I can recruit business. I think business is out there, and we need to be aggressive in recruiting them."

Gingerich has 20 years' experience as a machinist and tool maker and said that he has researched the electronics industry in hopes of recruiting new businesses to the county.

"The electronics business is booming," Gingerich said.

Gingerich said that he believes the county needs to look into establishing assembly, disassembly, warehousing and/or distribution centers for cell phone and other electronics companies to bring needed jobs to the area.

Gingerich said that he also believes that students in the county need to develop skills to work in these industries.

"This business is growing, and they don't have the labor they need to fill the jobs," Gingerich said.

In addition to owning the Premier Stockman feed store, Gingerich is a soybean farmer who owns a 100-acre farm on Kibler Road in Lynchburg with his wife, Victoria, a registered nurse who is currently finishing her bachelor of science in nursing degree at Indiana Wesleyan University. The Gingerichs have one son, Joseph.

Gingerich is a graduate of Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Ohio, and attended classes at Sinclair Community College. He moved to Highland County in 1986 when he purchased his farm.

Gingerich is a supporter of the NRA, 4-H, FFA and the Highland County Fair.

"I'm honest, and I'll say what I think," Gingerich said. "I'm in this to help residents in Highland County. That's the only reason I'm doing this."