Thursday, June 13, 2024

Most Oconee County Candidates In May Primaries And November General Election State Intent To Accept Minimum Contributions

***Next Filing Deadline June 30***

Fifteen of the 17 Oconee County candidates in the May 21 General Primary/Nonpartisan General Election completed an affidavit stating their intent not to accept more than $2,500 in campaign contributions.

They also said they would not spend more than that amount, making them exempt from filing a contribution and expenditure report with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

The exceptions were John Daniell, incumbent Board of Commissioners Chair, who defeated Pam Hendrix in the May 21 Republican Party Primary, and Sheriff James Hale, who was unopposed in the Republican Party Primary.

Daniell is unopposed in the Nov. 5 general election, while Hale will face Reginald Wade, who was unopposed in the Democratic Party Primary.

Daniell reported raising $7,750 in the Feb. 1 to April 30 filing period, and Hale reported raising $35,725.

The Affidavit is not restrictive. Any candidate who signed it and then receives or spends more money agrees to file the required campaign finance reports.

Adam Hammond, who is running for Post 4 on the Board of Education, and Angie Elder-Johnson, seeking re-election as Clerk of Superior Court, both filed the Affidavit for exemption but then filed a Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report for April 30.

Hammond reported having raised $8,594, and Elder-Johnson reported raising $12,925.

Filings With State

The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission has responsibility for processing the reports of candidates and making them available to the public.

Daniell (With Thomas Behind On Right)
GOP Candidate Forum 3/25/2024

Jennifer Stone, Assistant Director of Elections and Registration for Oconee County, said she filed these materials as required.

Only Hale’s name appears in the electronic system of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, and his filing does not contain any data.

I asked Stone for the reports she filed, and she provided me with copies of the materials she had sent to the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

Included were the Affidavit for an exemption filed by the 15 candidates, the Declaration of Intent to Accept Campaign Contributions filed by those same 15 candidates, the Personal Financial Disclosure Statement for all 17 candidates, and the Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports for Daniell, Elder-Johnson, Hale, and Hammond.

The next filing deadline is June 30 for the period from May 1 to the end of June.

Contribution Disclosure Reports

Daniell’s $7,750 included $1,000 from Cindy and Bob Scott, $500 from Edwin Thaxton, $500 from Bill and Lisa Douglas, and $500 from Darron Britt.

His biggest expenditure was the $3,161 qualifying fee.

Elder-Johnson’s $12,925 included $2,500 from Ricky Dyer and that same amount from Kevin Epps, $1,500 from Nick Faulkner, $1,000 from Donny Gardner, Catch 22, MKJ Holdings, Hudson, Montgomery, Kalivoda, and Connelly, and Lane Fitzpatrick.

Elder-Johnson did not report any expenditures through April 30. She will face Laura King, who is running as a Democrat, without party support, in November.

Hale’s $35,725 in contributions included $3,300, the legal limit, from Anderson-Wells LLC, Ashley Ulm, MLU Services, Billy Ulm, Wilhelm LLC, and William Ulm Jr., $3,000 from Michelle Chambers and that same amount from Eddie Chambers, $2,000 from Zoom Bait Co., $1,500 from Oconee Painting, and $1,000 from Rob and Cindy Scott, Lane Fitzpatrick, Steve and Laura Ebbert, and Andrew Marshall.

Hale’s largest listed expenditure was his filing fee of $2,512.

Hammond’s $8,594 included $1,000 from Doug and Vickie Hammond, Reba Hammond Estate, and Tyler and Jessica McClure, and $500 from Ken and Lynn Edwards, Donnie and June Hammond, and Dianne and J.L. Wright.

Hammond’s largest listed expenditure was for $2,868 with 1st Chance Graphics for shirts and signs, followed by $1,269 with Signs on the Cheap for yard signs.

Sheriff Candidates

The race between Hale and Wade in November pits two Oconee County natives against each other. Hale has spent most of his life in the county, while Wade is returning to his roots.

Wade 4/18/24
Oconee Democratic Forum

Hale lists his 2.5-acre residential property at 5370 Colham Ferry Road as his only property on his Personal Financial Disclosure Statement.

He says he co-owns the property with his spouse, Michelle, who is listed as an administrative assistant with Cole Hixon Insurance in Oconee County.

Hale says he does not have any business interests and is employed as sheriff.

Wade lists his residence at 1061 Oaklake Trail as his only property, which he co-owns with his wife, Vernellia, listed as an educator with Oconee County Schools.

Wade does not list any other business interests.

Wade lists his occupation as retired Law Enforcement.

He is supported by the Democratic Party.

Clerk Of Superior Court

Elder-Johnson lists four properties, including her two-acre residential property at 4341 Greensboro Highway. She lists 2.8 acres at 4180 Greensboro Highway, 68.5 acres at 4343 Greensboro Highway, and 33.5 acres at Antioch Church Road, all under the William Doyle and Mary Ann Elder Irrevocable Trust.

Elder-Johnson lists her spouse as owner of the residential property. He is listed as retired.

Elder-Johnson does not list any business activities and lists her occupation as Clerk of Superior Court.

Laura King filed as a Democrat as part of the Choices 4 Oconee slate. She is not being supported by the Democratic Party.

On her Personal Financial Disclosure Statement she lists three properties, a house in Athens , a house in Morgan County, and a lot in Morgan County. She does not provide any addresses.

She does list her mailing address as 1201 Cherokee Circle, with an Athens Postal Address, in Oconee County.

She says she was divorced in July of 2023.

King lists her occupation as accounting instructor at Georgia State University.

She does not list any ownership of businesses.

County Commission Races

Suzannah Heimel filed as Democrat to run against incumbent Republican Mark Thomas on Nov. 5. Neither had any opposition in the May 21 primary.

Heimel 4/4/2024
Conservatives Of Northeast
Georgia Form

Heimel, who is part of the Choices 4 Oconee slate, does not have Democratic Party support.

Heimel reported that she is registered agent for 4748 Emily Drive LLC, located at 1340 Twin Oaks Trail, her residence. She lists the company as “general business.” According to the Secretary of State corporate records, she and William Heimel organized the company with a Snellville address in 2016.

She lists six properties that she owns, one a residence in Oconee County, two in DeKalb County, two in Gwinnett County, and one in White County. All but the Oconee County property are listed as investments.

Heimel lists her occupation as property manager, her husband as William Heimel, and his occupation as auto executive. She lists his employer at “tech”.

Thomas lists ownership of two businesses, Mark Thomas Enterprises and Hot’s BBQ Inc.

He lists six properties, all in Oconee County, including a 140-acre and a 104-acre farm.

He lists is occupation as self-employed contractor and restaurant owner and his wife, Dianne, as bookkeeper and restaurant manager. Both list their activities as “electrical, grading, HVAC, Food Services.”

School Board Post 4

Hammond will face Sheri Ward Long, who was unopposed in the Democratic Party Primary on May 21, on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Hammond (With Hale Behind On Left)
GOP Candidate Forum 3/25/2024

Long is part of the Choices 4 Oconee slate and is not running with Democratic Party support.

Hammond defeated Andy Pippin and Russell Toms in the Republican Party May 21 primary.

Hammond lists his occupation as nonprofit executive director of the Georgia 4-H Foundation and his wife, Lauren, as marketing director of Chase Stephens State Farm.

Together they own a residence at 1285 Grovebrook Lane, their sole property.

Long lists her address as 1201 Cherokee Circle, with an Athens Postal Address, but in Oconee County.

She lists ownership of a house in Watkinsville of 0.5 acres as her sole property. She lists that property as a rental.

Long lists her occupation as retail at Michael’s, her husband, Mark, from whom she is separated, as employed in delivery at Heyward Allen.

School Board Post 5

Katie Green, a Democrat, will face Brock Toole, a Republican, for Post 5 on the Board of Education in November.

Green, running with Democratic Party support, was unopposed on the Democratic Party Ballot in May.

Toole defeated Stephen Aleshire in the Republican Party Primary.

Green lists her home at 1071 Forest Road as her only property.

She lists her occupation as instructional coach at Clarke Central High School.

Her husband, Pryor Green, is listed as retired.

Toole lists co-ownership of two businesses, Satisfied Foods Co. and South Main Brewing, and ownership of Toole Consulting, which is engaged in project management.

He lists one property, 100 Barnett Ridge, which is his primary residence. He lists the acreage as 1.7.

He co-owns that property with his wife, Christine Toole, who is a technology specialist at Oconee County Schools.

Toole lists his occupation as entrepreneur.

May 21 Voting

All 17 of the local candidates voted in the May 21 primary.

Long 4/4/2024
Conservatives Of Northeast Georgia Forum

All five of the Democratic candidates voted on election day, with four of the five choosing the Democratic Party Ballot.

Long voted on that day using the Republican Party Ballot.

All of the Republican Party candidates used the Republican Party Ballot, with the vast majority voting Advance In Person.

Andy Pippin voted on election day, as did Hendrix running for Board of Commissioners Chair and Jennifer Riddle, running unopposed for Tax Commissioner.

Aleshire and Victoria Cruz, who ran unsuccessfully in the Republican Primary against incumbent Mark Saxon for Post 4 on the Board of Commissioners, voted Absentee by Mail.

Michael Hunsinger, running unopposed on the nonpartisan ballot for re-election as Probate Court Judge, used the Republican Party Ballot.

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