White County votes go to Kemp, Raffensperger, Shafer; John Solmon elected to School Board

News

CLEVELAND, Ga. – John Solomon has defeated incumbent Charlie Bryson to claim the District 2 seat on the White County Board of Education. Solomon received 2,019 votes to Bryson’s 1,649 in Tuesday’s primary runoff.

Solmon finished a distant second to Bryson in the May 22 primary with 989 votes to Bryson’s 1,560. But he turned the tables Tuesday and more than doubled that totalto claim a convincing victory.

White County proved to be Brian Kemp country as the Secretary of State easily defeated Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the Republican primary race for governor. Kemp received 2,520 votes to Cagle’s 1,322.

White Countians also gave David Shafer the nod for Lt. Governor. He defeated Geoff Duncan with 1,900 votes to Duncan’s 1,736.

Brad Raffensperger defeated  David Belle Isle 2,408 to 1,105 in the Secretary of State race and Democrat Sid Chapman beat Otha Thornton Jr. 66 to 41.

All results are unofficial until certified by the Elections Supervisor.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

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Large voter turnout reported in White County so far

News

CLEVELAND, Ga. – White County’s Chief Registrar Lisa Manning said Wednesday (July 18)  she is extremely happy with the large voter turnout during the advanced voting period which ends Friday at 5 p.m.

“Considering we lost two voting days due to the Fourth of July and the fact we had no Saturday voting this time, I’m excited. I don’t ever remember a time when a runoff election drew more voters than the primary election,” she said.

As of 3:30 Wednesday, 804 White County voters had cast their ballots in person compared to 1,009 who voted in the May primary. With two days left, it is likely the turnout for this runoff election will exceed the number who voted in the May primary.

“Here in White County, the governor’s race and the local school board race have drawn a lot of attention,” Manning added.

The governor’s race has been a no-holds-barred battle between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Both candidates have attracted last-minute endorsements with Cagle getting the endorsement of Gov. Nathan Deal and Kemp earning Hunter Hill’s endorsement.

The only local race on the ballot is for the White County School Board between incumbent Charlie Bryson and John Solmon.

The poll will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Election Day is Tuesday (July 24) when the poll will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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Holcomb wins third term on county commission, Bryson wins by wide margin but faces a runoff

Election 2018

County Commissioner Lyn Holcomb

CLEVELAND, Ga. – White County Commissioner Lyn Holcomb defeated Mike Boswell and Ricky Farmer in Tuesday’s general primary election. Holcomb, who won a third term, avoided a runoff by winning 52.47 percent of the vote. Holcomb received 499 votes, followed by Boswell with 257 and Farmer 195.

In the race for White County School Board District 2, Charlie Bryson, a Hall County law enforcement officer, won by a wide margin over John Solmon and Carly Adam but now faces a July 24 runoff against Solmon. Bryson fell shy of the 50 percent plus one needed to win the seat outright, collecting 1,558 or 44.86 percent to Solmon’s 988 votes. Adam received 927 votes.

School Board member Charlie Bryson

 

The most hotly contested local race turned out to be for the open District 4 school board seat where freelance journalist Linda Erbele narrowly defeated Jeannette Gearing 1,731 to 1,675.

State Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger) easily defeated Mickey Cummings to win re-election in House District 8. Gurtler received 5,965 votes to Cummings 3,947.

In the up ballot, statewide elections that drew most of the voters to the polls, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp will face a runoff. In a five-candidate field, Cagle won by a slight margin over Kemp by receiving 39 percent of the votes (227,170 total votes) to Kemp’s 26 percent or 150,051 total votes.

Linda Erbele

The winner of that race will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in the November General election. Abrams easily defeated her rival Stacey Evans, winning 76 percent of the vote statewide.

There will also be a runoff in the Lieutenant Governor’s race where David Shafer fell just shy of a clear win. Shafer pulled in a majority of the votes, 256,230, but it was not enough to avoid a runoff with Geoff Duncan in July. Duncan received 27 percent of the votes (140,741).

 

The winner of that runoff will face Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico in November. Amico pulled in 56 percent of the votes (245,325) defeating opponent Triana James who received 44 percent.

Campaigns have not ended for Brad Raffensperger or David Belle Isle as they will also face off in a November runoff for Secretary of State. Raffensperger received 35 percent of the votes (178,502), moving him into top position. Belle Isle received 29 percent or 145,915 total votes.

Democrat John Barrow will face the winner of that runoff in November. Barrow was able to make a clean win with 52 percent over challengers Dee Dawkins-Haigler and Rakeim Hadley.

 

 

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Recent vote against recording school board meetings was a setback for open government

News

School Board Chairwoman Missy Jarrard

CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Education’s 3-2 vote against making a video recording of its meetings and placing it on the school system website, was a setback for open government. It will not have the intended consequences and could easily be reversed in 2019, depending on the outcome of next week’s election.

A recording would have allowed those who, for a variety of reasons, cannot attend the meetings to see how the board operates and how their elected officials are performing, something most elected officials claim to want.

It is worth noting that thanks to Georgia’s Open Meetings and Open Records Act, the school board lacks the authority to prevent a video recording of the meetings from being made and placed on the Internet. It can only prevent placement on the school system website.

 

To their credit, Chairwoman Missy Jarrard and board member Charlie Bryson cast votes in favor of open government, but they were outvoted by Jon Estes, Charlie Thomas and Barry Vandiver.

Vandiver’s term will end in December thus eliminating one “no” vote. He will be replaced by Jeannette Gearing or Linda Erbele.

FetchYourNews reached out to all the school board candidates to see where they stand on the issue. Erbele did not return our calls.

School Board member Charlie Bryson

Gearing was quick to say she would vote in favor of open government if the issue resurfaces again next year.

“I think it’s a great idea. I try to attend as many meetings as I can, but I have children who participate in a lot of activities so I can’t always be there. I’m sure there are a lot of people just like me who can’t be at all the meetings but would like to keep up with what is going on. So, if I am elected, I will vote to record the meetings and place the video on the school website,” Gearing said.

Bryson said, “Absolutely, I would vote for it again, without a doubt. There is no better way to show transparency than by recording the meetings and placing the video on the website for everyone to see.”

Calls and emails to Bryson’s opponents John Solmon and Carly Adam went unanswered.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

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Nine candidates vie for county offices in May 22 primary

Election 2018, News

Mickey Cummings

CLEVELAND, Ga. — When the May 22 General Primary election arrives, White County voters will have to choose between two state representative candidates in District 8, three county commission candidates in District 2 and two school board candidates in District 2 and 4.

State Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger) is running for a second term in the General Assembly against Mickey Cummings, of Union County.

Gurtler is a pro-life, pro-gun incumbent who opposes subsidies and government interference in the free market. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution article reported that Gurtler was once threatened by Gov. Nathan Deal’s aide, Chris Riley, when Gurtler voted against the governor’s budget. Riley allegedly threatened to cut all funding for Gurtler’s district in retaliation.

State Rep. Matt Gurtler

Cummings earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Georgia and a masters degree in agriculture education from Clemson. He served for more than 20 years as Union County’s Extension Agent. He led the effort to develop the Union County Farmers Market that has had a $1 million annual economic impact on the district. He said he is running because the district has been isolated by a lack of leadership on the part of the incumbent.

Incumbent District 2 County Commissioner Lyn Holcomb has two challengers, Mike Boswell and Ricky Farmer. Boswell said he would like to do a better job of promoting agri-tourism and upgrading the county infrastructure.

Farmer said he wants to make sure that any industry attracted to White County does not hurt the small businessman. “Industry is a great thing but we’re a county of mostly small businesses,” he said. “I want industries that will come in and help the small businessman.”

Incumbent Charlie Bryson has drawn a pair of challengers for his District 2 seat on the Board of Education in Carly Adam and John Solmon. Bryson is a fire investigator by profession. Solmon is a small business owner and a member of the Mossy Creek Elementary School Governing Council. Adam is an administrative assistant at Pioneer RESA.

There is an open District 4 seat on the Board of Education where freelance journalist Linda Erbele and Jeannette Gearing, a substitute teacher, are the candidates.

Erbele said she is strongly opposed to school vouchers. “Vouchers don’t help anyone but the people who can already afford private school,” she said. “I will advocate for White County Schools and against vouchers anyway that I can. My goal is simple – to have the best school system in the state as part of a thriving, dynamic community.”

Gearing comes from a family of educators. She has worked as a substitute teacher for eight years and served on several school councils. “I’m very proud of how far our school system has come,” she said. “It has made great strides.” One thing she would like to see is more school counselors. “I believe we need one for each grade,” she said. Gearing feels White County schools are safe and she has mixed feelings about guns in schools: “I like the fact that we have school resource officers in every school. I’m not sold on the idea of teachers with guns.”

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach.If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Nix will return to Board of Commissioners, Holcomb faces two challengers

Election 2018

Commissioner Edwin Nix

CLEVELAND, Ga. – Qualifying ended at noon today. The field is now set for the May 22 General Primary election.

District 2 County Commissioner Lyn Holcomb will have to defeat Mike Boswell, who lists his occupation as wastewater operator, and Ricky Farmer, the owner of a pet crematory, to serve another term on the Board of Commissioners.

District 3 Commissioner Edwin Nix, however, is unopposed and will return to the Board in January.

Charlie Bryson, a fire investigator, is the incumbent Board of Education member from District 2. Carly Adam, an administrative assistant, and John Solmon will challenge for that seat.

For a time, it appeared as though there would be no candidates in the District 4 Board of Education race, but on the final day of qualifying, two candidates stepped forward. Jeannette Gearing, a substitute teacher, and Linda Erbele, a freelance writer, qualified.

The state level race has incumbent District 9 State Representative Kevin Tanner (R) of Dawsonville pitted against Mark Hajduk (R) of Cumming.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

Charlie Bryson

 

Carly Adam

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Charlie Bryson Announces School Board Campaign

News, Politics

CLEVELAND, Ga. — Charlie Bryson, an arson investigator for Gwinnett County and a lifelong resident of White County, has qualified to run for the District 2 seat on the White County Board of Education. The non-partisan election will be held in November.

Bryson, 45, graduated from White County High School in 1986 and holds several technical degrees from North Georgia Tech and Lanier Tech and is currently working on a Bachelor’s Degree at Columbia Southern University.

He began working at the City of Cleveland Fire Department when he was 18 years old and worked with the White County Fire Department from 1989 until 2011 where he is still a volunteer.

“Our schools have made good progress since I graduated and I would like to see that forward progress continue in a way that is fair to the students, staff and the taxpayers,” he said Friday. “I’ve worked in public safety my whole life and I believe with my experience in working for government, I can help to make a positive change.”

Bryson will campaign for the District 2 seat left vacant when Roger Fitzpatrick resigned to run for U.S. Congress against Congressman Doug Collins.
If elected, he will serve the remainder of Fitzpatrick’s term which ends in December 2018.

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Bryson, Pulliam Qualify to Run for School Board

News, Politics

CLEVELAND, Ga. — Qualifying for the November election to fill the vacant seat on the White County Board of Education ended at noon today with two candidates qualified.

Gwinnett County Fire Investigator Charlie Bryson will campaign against Brock Pulliam, who is currently serving an interim position on the board.

The special election is non-partisan and will be held to fill the vacancy created when Roger Fitzpatrick resigned to run for U.S. Congress last May against Congressman Doug Collins. The winner will serve the remainder of the unexpired term that ends in December 2018.

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