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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District 8 House race turns sour in final stretch

Election 2018, News

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – As the May 22 General Primary election draws near, State House District 8 challenger Mickey Cummings has launched what his opponent, Representative Matt Gurtler, described as a “smear campaign” by resorting to a barrage of published political attacks, geared toward the incumbent’s voting record.

At a public speaking engagement on April 27, in Hiawassee, Cummings said he had no intention of running a negative campaign.

Matt Gurtler

Rep. Matt Gurtler

In a paid advertisement, Cummings claims that Gurtler has “voted against our kids,” while asking, “Don’t our children deserve better?”

Cummings included Gurtler’s voting history, listing “no” to school safety funding, “no” to better training for school resource officers, and “no” to hundreds of thousands of dollars for our local schools.

Gurtler explained that the issues Cummings has chosen to highlight were lumped together within the “all-or-nothing” $26 billion dollar state budget, which Gurtler has repeatedly described as “omnibus, riddled with subsidies, and wasteful spending.”

Gurtler believes the budget should be divided and departmentalized, with separate votes cast for each sector.

Gurtler says Cummings is cherry-picking segments embedded within the bloated budget, hoping to solicit an emotional response from voters.

“What you are seeing are typical establishment tactics, a blanket attack,” Gurtler tells FetchYourNews (FYN), “This election is between me and the establishment. It shows just how deep the swamp goes. They don’t want a dissenting voice in the House. They want an ask-no-questions, yes-man.”

State House leaders, including House Speaker David Ralston, have poured a total of $13,700 into Cummings’ campaign thus far, with Cummings recently announcing a political rally scheduled for May 16, at the Union County Farmers Market, with sitting Governor Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston in attendance.

While negative campaigning is often considered “politics as usual,” it is unprecedented for an acting governor to endorse the opponent of an incumbent within his or her own party.

Mickey Cummings

Mickey Cummings

Time will tell whether Governor Deal’s decision to campaign for Cummings hinders or favors Gurtler’s reelection odds.

Cummings did not return FYN’s request for comment on campaign contributions, nor the upcoming rally.

A debate between the State House candidates will be aired live on FYNTV.com on Tuesday, May 14, at 9:00 a.m.

FYN Chief Executive Officer Brian Pritchard will moderate the State House District 8 debate.

Count on continuing coverage as Election Day approaches.

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Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

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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