The Oconee County candidates in the May 24 Republican primary covered familiar ground last night in introducing themselves to about 40 people who turned out for a Meet and Greet at Chops and Hops Restaurant in Watkinsville.
Board of Commissioners candidates Penny Mills and Sarah Bell, seeking Post 1 and Post 4 respectively, stated concerns about rapid growth in the county.
Mark Saxon, incumbent Post 4 commissioner, said the county is going in the right direction and he wants to continue his service to its citizens.
Incumbent Bill Cowsert, seeking reelection to the Senate from the 46th District, reviewed his legislative accomplishments. Pat Daugherty, challenging Cowsert, said elected representatives don’t listen to the citizens often enough.
Tom Odom, Board of Education chair, said once again that the Board should deal only with the superintendent, while challenger Britt Beaver said the Board Chair and Board need to get involved directly with the schools.
Dale Rogers said his experience as a funeral director would make him a good Coroner. Incumbent Coroner Ed Carson underscored the training he has received, often at his own expense, to improve his skills.
Kevin “Chappy” Hynes reviewed his personal history and said he would bring “passion” to the Sheriff’s Office. Incumbent Scott Berry didn’t attend because, according GOP Chairman Mitch Swan, he had another commitment.
Williams Also Spoke
Chairman Swan asked Chuck Williams, who represents most of Oconee County and part of Clarke County in the Georgia House of Representatives, to use three minutes to introduce himself, though Williams is unopposed in the May 24 primary.
Williams asked those present not to sign petitions being circulated by candidates seeking to run against him in the November 8 general election.
Williams didn’t name Pamela Hendrix and Ronald Houser, but both are trying to get enough signatures to be listed on the ballot.
Hendrix is seeking to be listed as an independent, but Houser wants to be the Constitution Party candidate.
Williams said any candidate who was not part of a party caucus would be an ineffective leader in the General Assembly.
The Meet and Greet was the final official gathering of candidates before the May 24 election. All local candidates are running as Republicans.
Candidates also met in Candidate Forums on April 14 and April 25, and videos of those meetings are available on the Candidate Forum Channel of the Oconee County Observations Vimeo site.
The video from the Monday session is below. The room was dark and noisy, but it is possible to hear the candidates’s comments.
The candidates did not take questions from the audience, and the entire event lasted only an hour.
Early voting continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this week and next at the Board of Elections and Registration Office at 10 Court Street opposite the Courthouse.
That office will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday for early voting as well.