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Mayor Gary L. Russ, Jr.

“Know who you are. Be able to answer: Who am I and what do I want? My answer is I am God’s child.”  -Oprah Winfrey.

Mayor Russ Gary is a native of Gadsden County, Florida. He has served on the Gretna City Commission since 2019. Mayor Russ is a graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University’s College of Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities, with a Master of Social Work degree. At FAMU, he served in the Student Government Association as Department of Graduate Affairs Secretary.

Through life’s many endeavors and tribulations, he has worked to transform his community by renewing and developing himself. Mayor Russ has over five years of experience in working in customer service, almost five years of experience in behavioral, mental and psychiatric health and two years in the medical field as a combat medic in the Army Reserves. In addition to his service to his community, he has served for five years as an educator in Gadsden County Public Schools, where he currently serves as a full-time middle school Civics teacher at James A. Shanks Middle School in Quincy, Florida. He also serves as the Vice-President of the Gadsden County Classroom Teachers Association.

Mr. Russ continues to serve his community through active membership in the Illustrious Alex L. Dixon Lodge #640, where he serves diligently as Junior Warden and as Grand Recording Secretary for the State of Florida's Illustrious Renford P. Brown Grand Lodge. Additionally, he participates on multiple advisory boards and committees including the Florida Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, Florida League of Cities’ Transportation & Intergovernmental Relations Legislative Committee, Gadsden County Development Council’s Strategic Leadership Team, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, and the United Way of the Big Bend’s Allocation Committee.  

Mayor Russ' aspiration in life is to be an influential vessel of change that strives for the betterment, empowerment, and continued success of his community. His life's motto is to "Accept nothing less than the best”, and lives by the words of the great Malcolm X, “Education is the passport to the future. The future belongs to those who prepare for it today!”