Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Democratic Candidate For Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Seat Withdraws

***Two Democrats In Education Board Race***

The Oconee County Democratic Party lost its sole contender for a Board of Commissioners seat yesterday (Monday) morning when Tyra Byers withdrew from the race.

Byers, a program coordinator at the University of Georgia, had filed on the last day of qualifying on Friday to run for Post 3 on the Board of Commissioners.

William “Bubber” Wilkes now holds the Post 3 position, but he has opposition in the Republican primary from John Laster, a member of the county’s Planning Commission.

Byers said she decided to drop out of the race after reflecting on the demands of running a campaign on her family.

Who Is Left

Byers’ decision to withdraw from the race means that Democrats will have candidates on the ballot in November in only two of the four Oconee County races.

Parrish, Spence And Wellnitz 3/12/2018

Andrea Wellnitz qualified as a Democrat for Board of Education Post 2, and Fran Thompson qualified for Board of Education Post 3.

Amy Parrish, a Republican, currently holds Post 2 on the Board of Education, and she will have Republic Party primary opposition from Adam Spence.

Kim Argo, a Republican, has no primary opposition for her Post 3 position.

Wellnitz, Spence and Thompson attended the Board of Education meeting on Monday, putting all five candidates together for the first time.

Byers’ Decision

Byers told me on Friday of last week that she had made the decision to run for the Board of Commissioners race only that morning.

She paid the $594 filing fee before the closing of qualifications on noon.

In an email message on Monday morning, Byers said “I know I could serve well as a commissioner.” She said she realized she had underestimated “what it would take to run a campaign.”

“I've got three kids and can't make the necessary sacrifices,” she said.

Byers, 44, lives at 1310 Station Drive off Simonton Bridge Road outside Watkinsville.

Byers, Wellnitz and Thompson are political newcommers.


Xardox said...

Campaigning is tough work. If one wants to win the seat,
that's a lot of doors to knock on, gobs of meetings to attend,
and money to solicit and spend.
It is probably for the best. A Democrat has little chance for a BOC seat.
It is kind of strange to pay up prior to realizing the demands.
Wonder if she gets a refund? Probably not.

Lee Becker said...


She did not get a refund.


Anonymous said...

The kids come first. Sounds like a wonderful mom and person. Sorry she was unable to make it work.