Petty earned a BA in public affairs journalism from the University of Georgia's journalism school. While at UGA, Petty served in editor positions at UGA's independent student newspaper, The Red & Black. He grew up in Oklahoma and Georgia before moving to Ashe County in July 2013. His hobbies are music, watching sports and exploring. Petty has two dogs in Georgia, a Springer Spaniel named Remington and a black lab named Jake, and two Orange Tabby cats, Cleocatra and Ryan.