November 26, 2020

Qualifying ends setting the stage for the 2012 local elections

Official qualifying for the 2012 county political elections ended today at noon and there were a few surprises. In the race for Sheriff, former Heard County Sheriff Doyle Scott was a surprise qualifier in the Democratic Party.

Scott will face the winner between 16-year incumbent W. Ross Henry and former Hogansville Police Chief Raymond Guy Spradlin who both qualified as Republicans. The Republican and Democratic Primaries will take place on July 31, 2012.

The biggest field of competition will be in the race for Commission Chair as incumbent June Jackson, former Chair Larry A. Pike, and former District #2 Commissioner Lee Boone will face off in the Republican Primary. The winner of that Republican race will be challenged in November by political newcomer and founder Russ Massa who is running unopposed as the lone Democratic qualifier.

In the race for District #1 Commissioner, incumbent Karen W. Isenhower will be challenged by former District #1 board member Larry F. Hooks. This seat will be decided on July 31 as both Isenhower and Hooks are running as Republicans.

In District #3, Gwen Caldwell will take on Tommy Chatman in the Republican Primary with no Democratic candidates qualified.

Incumbent tax commissioner Sandra Nolen will run unopposed on the Republican ticket.

Kathie Buchanan is the only Democratic qualifier for Coroner but will be challenged by another newcomer Brannon L. Gray who qualified on the Republican ticket.

In the non-partisan court position Probate Judge Joseph Bledsoe will  be unopposed.

Clerk of Superior Court Bryan Owensby and Magistrate Judge Brenda Jennings will both run unopposed on the Republican ticket.

In the race for Heard County School Board, Mike L. Crockett qualified unopposed but two other positions will be contested.

In District #4, newcomer Doug Stephens will challenge incumbent H. Tim Holtzclaw and in the Special Election for the District #1 school board seat which was vacated by Tony Burson, Curtis Michael Mock and Chadwick Wood will vie for the remainder of Burson’s term.

After the primary election on July 31, the general election will take place on November 6, 2012.


  1. Mart Hyatt says

    It’s very clear that the GOP ticket has arrived in HEARD COUNTY. This must be a local means to say that we are not being associated with the National level Democrats. I hope that voters will not miss out voting for a few local democrats by voting a straight republican ticket.

  2. Alright Russ we need to hear from you. You get offered a position on the spot in Franklin and you turn it down stating conflict of interest. Now you qualify to run for county commissioner, which you had to go out of your way to do. Does the conflict of interest not matter anymore, were you holding out for this and that is why you turned down the Franklin offer, or was the paper just a way to get people looking at your site and get you noticed? If elected will the paper go on? Please we need to hear from you.

    • Russ Massa says

      That’s a fair question JC but I would note that the conflict of interest was only one of many reasons I turned down the spot on the downtown development authority for the city. Primarily I turned it down because I had not been told about it prior and really didn’t like being put on the spot in that way by the Mayor. As it turns out the board that was appointed that night did not even end up being formed because they still had that board in place from years earlier which had not been dissolved. Also I am not a resident of the city so that didn’t seem right to me either. As far as this newspaper goes, it is the reason I waited until very late to decide for sure to run for commissioner. I love and if am fortunate enough to be elected there are several options that I will have to consider in order to keep it operating fairly.

  3. First I’ve heard of this, but as I understand that Russ turned down a spot on the city of Fanklin’s Development Arthority from reading both comments. Russ, did you claim it to be a conflict of interest because of Heard Citizen? If so I can’t see how this is a conflict, maybe you can explain. I do agree that if in fact you were not notified prior the meeting, then that’s a good reason. We don’t need any “knee jerk decisions” in any form of government. The fact you are not a city resident is another good reason for you not to accept. In any case, I do know that you have been wanting to start an online paper for over two years, as we have discussed it many times over the years.

    • Russ Massa says

      I really wanted to try and avoid joining any sort of boards or organizations at the time just for the sake of when I reported on any of them I wanted to be as fair as possible. Of course the job I am seeking now does bring about a conflict but I feel it is important enough that I really need to do it in order for the county to progress. I am hopeful that with my ideas for a more open government some of the potential conflicts will be resolved. I will be explaining further in my blog which will be getting started soon.

  4. Thank you for addressing my question Mr Massa. I just do not want the Heard Citizen to go away. This is a great outlet for news and I appreciate what you put into it.

    • Russ Massa says

      Thank you JC I appreciate you reading it and I am glad you enjoy it. I promise you it will not go away for any reason if at all possible…..

  5. steve watts says

    glad to hear you are running, i am sorta new to heard county having moved here in 2006 and from what i have seen and heard, the commision chair is in need of change keep up the good work with the paper if possible after you win the election. you have my confidense in good leader ship .steve

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