October 20, 2020

Local Candidates Poised for May Election

(Franklin, GA) — With qualifying ending last week, several local political candidates are preparing for upcoming campaigns as the May 24 Primary and Nonpartisan Election approaches.

That important local election day is just 69 days away and only two races remain at the forefront after one qualifying candidate officially withdrew his name from the ticket two days ago.

Greg Holcomb

Greg Holcomb

Greg Holcomb was set to face off with Donald Mironov for District 4 School Board Member before Mironov withdrew his name from the ballot on Monday.

After his withdrawal, Mironov told the Heard Citizen via email that he had not given much thought to running for school board but did not want the seat to be vacant after no other candidates had qualified early in the week. Holcomb subsequently qualified for the position on Thursday.

Current District 4 School Board incumbent Tim Holtzclaw is not seeking re-election and with the position being nonpartisan, Holcomb will take over the seat next year.

Holcomb has been a resident of Heard County all his life and graduated from Heard County High School in 1985.

“I want to continue to make our school system one of the top systems in the state,” said Holcomb this week. “I want to support our students in the classroom, on the playing fields, in their various interests as well as support them as they transition into the world after they graduate. We have great teachers, administrators, and facilities so we need to focus on making sure all of our students have what they need to live a successful life and fulfill the dreams that they have set for themselves.” 

The race for Heard County Commission Chair will have two high-profile candidates involved as incumbent Lee Boone has been challenged by former Commission Chairperson June Jackson on the Republican ticket.

With no democratic qualifiers last week, this very important position will most likely be settled on May 24.

It appeared late in the qualifying week that Boone would run unopposed until Jackson qualified Friday morning just before the noon deadline.

Boone has held the office for the last four years after Jackson held the position from 2005-2012. Boone, also a former District 2 commissioner, defeated Jackson in the Republican primary runoff in the summer of 2012.

The Heard Citizen asked each of the opposed candidates in the remaining two races for a 100-150 word statement about their upcoming campaigns.

June Jackson

June Jackson

In her 149 word statement, Jackson focused on spending.

“It is very important that the taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. This includes SPLOST dollars as well, which were approved by the voters,” Jackson stated.

“If elected, I will closely monitor all the county funds to assure they are being used to best benefit the citizens of Heard County. Excess spending will be curtailed and we will search diligently for ways to raise revenues without raising taxes.”

Additionally, Jackson focuses on her 36 years of experience in Heard County government.

“Having served in this position for eight years, after 28 years as County Clerk, I have the knowledge and experience needed to successfully serve Heard County and its citizens,” says Jackson.

“I welcome the chance to prove to the citizens that I only have the county’s best interest at heart and not my own.”

Boone released a 340 word statement about his re-election campaign. In the first 150 words of that statement, Boone mentioned his opponent as well as his first term in office.

“It has been a pleasure to serve as Chairman of the Board for the past three years,” Boone stated. “I was not offered a smooth transition into this office by the former Chairman. My first term as Chairman has been a learning curve that has been met with many decisions, challenges and changes that needed to be made.”

Lee Boone

Lee Boone

Boone goes on to talk about revenues and equipment acquisition.

“Accountability, Standards, Expectations and Discipline have been implemented to enhance productivity, efficiency, and smooth daily operations of the Heard County Government,” says Chairman Boone. “One of the biggest challenges I have faced, is the shortfall of sales tax revenues while costs continue to rise. The Annual Budget was cut approximately $830,000.00 to be consistent with the revenue shortfalls. The acquisition of equipment, tools, vehicles, etc. through the Federal Surplus Program has been a tremendous asset, and costs savings are substantial.”

The only other county office being challenged is for the role as Heard County’s Chief Magistrate. Incumbent Magistrate Brenda Jennings is challenged by first time candidate Mart Hyatt, a retiring guidance counselor at Heard Elementary School.

“I have spent my entire life in Heard County. I love Heard County, I love the people and the atmosphere and I love to do my part as often as I can to make this a better community,” said Hyatt in his initial campaign statement. “I grew up on a large farm and my father, Roger Hyatt, instilled a very strong work ethic in me at an early age that has lasted to this day. I plan to take that work ethic straight to the Courthouse as your Magistrate Judge.”

Mart Hyatt

Mart Hyatt

“In the Heard County School System, where perhaps I have either taught you or worked with you or your children in Guidance and Counseling over the past 31 years, many of you have gotten to know me. Now I am retiring and hope to serve our County with integrity, honor, and fairness,” Hyatt added.

“I vow to be in the Courthouse and listen because Heard County deserves a public servant who will never take for granted the duties and responsibilities placed before them.”

Jennings has held the office for eight years after running unopposed in 2012. She was also Chief Magistrate from 1993-2000 and Municipal Court Judge of Franklin from 2004-2008.

“The office of Magistrate Judge is based on ethics and honor,” say Jennings. “One must be equipped to handle many legal issues in the criminal and civil arena.”

Jennings also talks about her only time away from Heard County government since 1993.

“From 2001-2003 I developed a non-profit organization in Alaska to achieve and generate trust and acceptance in the 54+ villages along the Bering Sea Coast,” Jennings states. “I assisted in collaborating with families and organizations in many legal and civil aspects of the Judicial System.”

Absentee ballots will be available for the May 24 primary beginning on April 9 with and April 26 registration deadline in order to be eligible to vote.

Advance voting kicks off on May 2 at the Heard County Courthouse and Saturday voting will be available on May 14.

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for full coverage of the 2016 local elections.

(Editor’s Note: In the interest of fair coverage for all candidates, some comments published below may require the name of the author. For questions about this policy, contact editor@heardcitizen.com)

Comments

  1. Thankful Mart Hyatt is running for magistrate court. He has helped so many in our community. He is dedicated to helping others. He is educated, kind, and a perfect fit for magistrate court.
    Again, Thankful Mart Hyatt is running for magistrate court.

  2. I, too, am thankful Mart Hyatt is running. He is a good person and genuinely cares for our community. He will make a fine magistrate judge. Unlike his opponent, he will put his time, energy, and efforts into solving issues for our LOCAL community. In support of OUR community, I urge all HC residents to VOTE HYATT!!

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