March 7, 2021

Election Round-Up: Heard County Chairman retains seat in close race

(Franklin, GA) — A very close race for the county’s top leadership role was the top story on Primary Election Day as incumbent Heard County Chairman Lee Boone narrowly escaped a strong challenge from Keri Denney to retain his position.

Chairman Lee Boone

A large amount of absentee ballots led to a long night as final election results were not revealed until after midnight Tuesday.

Keri Denney actually led the race after the in- person votes were counted before Boone came back strong in the absentee votes to win by a margin of just 87 votes.

The final countywide vote left Boone as the winner by a final tally of 1261-1174.

“I would first like to congratulate my opponent on a hard-fought campaign right to the end,” said Chairman Boone once the final results were confirmed. “I also want to send a heartfelt thank you to all of those who supported me during this election. I look forward to next four years representing all of you and pledge to do my best to keep Heard County great.”

Denney, the former District 2 commissioner, was also thankful for the support she received in the tight race.

“It was an honor to run for County Commission Chair. Although I wished for a different outcome — God had a different plan. I am humbled by the love and support I have been shown. I pray for prosperity for Heard County over the next four years,” said Denney.

In the special election for the vacant District 2 seat on the BOC, newcomer Julie Akers surprised many with a strong showing as she took the largest number of votes among the three candidates.

Akers garnered 49.16% of the votes — just a few voted shy of taking the seat outright over second place finisher James Perry. Akers tallied 351 votes while Perry had 237 and third place finisher Ken Lawler had 126 votes.

Akers and Perry will meet in a runoff election on August 11, 2020 to determine who gets the District 2 board seat.

In District 1, incumbent commissioner Larry Hooks defeated lone challenger Matt Dean 213-150 to retain his seat on the board. In District 3, Gwen Caldwell was unopposed.

In the only other contested countywide election, incumbent Heard County Tax Commissioner Diane Watson defeated Amanda Bailey 1709-709.

In only one contested nonpartisan race for the Heard County School Board, incumbent District 4 Board Member Greg Holcomb defeated Sammy Marsh 322-167.

District 2 school board member Mike Crockett was unopposed.

Other uncontested candidates to maintain their respective countywide positions were Sheriff Ross Henry, Coroner Kathie Buchanan, Clerk of Superior Court Tammie Teal, Probate Judge Joseph Bledsoe, and Chief Magistrate Brenda Jennings.

There were no Democratic qualifiers for November’s general election, meaning all of the Republican winners will win their races barring the highly unlikely event of any independent qualifiers prior to November.

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