Voter's Guide: Meet the 2021 Travelers Rest mayoral, city council candidates

Voter's Guide: Meet the 2021 Travelers Rest mayoral, city council candidates

Travelers Rest Mayoral and City Council Candidates

Election: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021

Six candidates are running to fill four Travelers Rest City Council seats. Three of the four seats are currently held by Brantley Vest, Rick Floyd, and Jeff George, all of whom are running for re-election. The fourth open seat is currently held by Harvey Choplin, who is not seeking re-election.

Mayor Brandy Amidon is running unopposed.


Brandy Amidon

Brandy Amidon Bio: Amidon was elected to mayor of Travelers Rest in January 2018 as the first female and youngest mayor in Travelers Rest's history. She's served on city council of Travelers Rest since 2010, the last two years of which were as Mayor Pro Tem. She's a founding member of Let's Keep TR Beautiful, a local group dedicated to positive promotion and beautification of Travelers Rest, and currently serving as a member of the board of directors for S.C. Appalachian Council of Governments and GPATS. Amidon has also served on the board for Travelers Rest Historical Society and the Greater Travelers Rest Chamber of Commerce. Brandy is co-president and CFO for Brains on Fire, Inc., a creative agency who focuses on branding, identity and community-centered marketing. She's been married for nineteen years to Steven Amidon and mom to their seven year old daughter, Annabelle.

Why I'm running: "Sustainable growth is part of everything we do and have been planning for at the city level. Along with the focus on creating a bikable and walkable Main Street, the Prisma Swamp Rabbit Trail has been a catalyst for growth and tourism within city limits. Our focus for sustainable growth includes smart residential growth that meets our core values of connection and need along with zoning and development plans for downtown in particular. We are also continuing to focus on green spaces and expansion and quality of our city parks. Every decision we make relates to how we grow and work towards ensuring that our city services support any additional growth. Our biggest threat is too much growth too fast. It's not just our city, but the entire County has seen double digit growth. Everyone wants what we who live in Travelers Rest and Greenville County have and we can't blame them! People want to live in a small town that has all the amenities you expect from a larger city, along with unique and high quality small businesses, staple chains, city events and green spaces. How we balance growth and need are essential to moving forward. Focusing on our values of small town feel and quality of life through outdoor parks, community events on Main Street and at Trailblazer Park, support of our local businesses, and connectivity in every development we allow into the city are some of the ways we are addressing. That's why I'm running to continue serving in the Mayor role to lead the charge on how our city grows and maintains all the wonderful things that make TR truly unique and a place to call home."

Find out more about Mayor Brandy Amidon here.

Brantley Vest


Brantley Vest Bio: "I am a Business Energy Advisor at Duke Energy, where I works alongside business customers in the Upstate and western North Carolina to help reduce energy usage through energy efficiency measures. I graduated from Clemson University in 2009 and from Travelers Rest High School in 2004. My family has deep roots in Travelers Rest, where my great-grandfather, W.H. Vest, owned and operated Vest Grocery Store on Main Street.

Why I’m running: "I said it four years ago and it’s still my focus today: smart growth. People love TR and are moving here for the unique way of life it offers. But to maintain that way of life, the decisions we make in the next few years are critical and we must stay focused on policies that will grow our community in a deliberate but smart fashion."

Find out more about Brantly Vest online:

Rick Floyd

Rick Floyd Bio: "I am retired from law enforcement and currently work for the Greenville County School District in information security, part of the Education Technology Department."

Why I'm running: "As chairperson of the Public Safety Committee working with the police chief and fire chief, my goal is to continue to be involved and proactive in the safety of the residence and visitors of Travelers Rest. I want everyone to feel safe in their residence, while on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, or anywhere in the city of Travelers Rest. Travelers Rest is a beautiful town and a wonderful place to call home. I feel fortunate to serve the citizens of Travelers Rest."

Jeff George

Jeff George Bio: "I grew up in Travelers Rest where my wife and I enjoy raising our four beautiful children. I have served on City Council since 2009 and currently serve as Co-Chair on the Ways and Means Committee as well as the Public Safety, and the Public Works committees over the years. 

Why I'm running: "I am running for Council to continue working on improvements to life in our city. I believe we need to continue to follow our Master Plan, develop and improve our Poinsett Corridor, enhance and build upon our parks and infrastructure, look for creative ways to develop green spaces, continue our work on targeted affordable housing, and continue to support a strong downtown through cultural activities. We have experienced much success in Travelers Rest, and it is important for future success to wisely plan for the future through controlled, smart growth and infrastructure improvements."

Find out more about Jeff George online:

Wayne McCall

Wayne McCall Bio: "I am a native of Travelers Rest. I was born and raised here. I am retired after 34 years of Federal service that includes 4 years of military and 30 years with the USPS. I have 16 years of municipal service in Travelers Rest. I began on city council, where I served for eight years before continuing on to serve as mayor for another eight years."

Why I'm running: "As a two-term mayor as well as eight years on the Travelers Rest City Council, I have the experience to offer to many of the younger current council members. My career has been in development and growth management for the US Postal Service. I offer this experience to a rapidly growing community. My record as mayor shows smart growth with a fiscally sound track record. We are poised with the possibility of great commercial growth. All of this should be looked at and decisions made according to community needs and desires. I adhere to conservative standards."

Find out more about Wayne McCall online:

Matt Gilstrap

Matt Gilstrap Bio: "I was born and raised on the outskirts of Travelers Rest beside Furman University, and for the past four years I have been a resident within the city limits. I graduated Greenville High School class of 2011 and North Greenville University class of 2016. I worked in the tech industry for five years out of college and then switched to real estate. I love what I do and I love showing off our small town."

Why I'm running: "Travelers Rest is an awesome city that everyone wants to visit or live. It’s small town charm and atmosphere draw people. However, I fully believe we may lose that charm if the city continues developing at its current pace. Our infrastructure cannot keep up. During peak traffic hours, our roads and traffic lights are backed up. Pedestrians cannot cross mid-block crosswalks safely. Our street lighting is poor. And most importantly our first responders are stretched thin. I am not against growth. I am against out growing our pants, and until we can afford a new pair of trousers, we need to slow down."

Find out more about Matt Gilstrap online:

Lisa Lane

Lisa Lane Bio: "My family and I have lived in Travelers Rest for 17 years and love our community. We were attracted to the small town feel of Travelers Rest and view of the mountains. Since that time, we have enjoyed spending time on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, dining at the old and new restaurants downtown and becoming a part of the community. I have an accounting degree from Furman University and have worked as an outsourced CFO and currently work in corporate accounting and non-profit accounting. 

Why I'm running: "Travelers Rest has changed in many positive ways with the growth that citizens and visitors have enjoyed. However, growth creates challenges with keeping the small town appeal that has attracted many to move to Travelers Rest. My priority for Travelers Rest is to keep the small town appeal of our community while also being the voice for those concerned with how we choose to grow in the future."    

Find out more about Lisa Lane online:


To check your voter registration status, visit the website.

For more municipal election information, please call Travelers Rest City Hall at 864-834-8740

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