By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Field set for May 20 primary
Three vie for commission seat
Placeholder Image

Board of Commissioners District 1 candidates:

Kevin Ellison

Sharon Fausett

Corey Gutherie


Several candidates filed qualifying papers last week to run for local office in the May 20 primary.

Three of the political hopefuls are vying for the District 1 Dawson County commission seat held by Gary Pichon, who is not seeking re-election.

The seat will go to the highest vote getter among veteran lawman Kevin Ellison, 49, engineer Corey Gutherie, 36 and former teacher and agri-tourism entrepreneur Sharon Fausett, 63.

One candidate would need to secure 50 percent plus one vote in the primary to avoid a runoff.

Gutherie, who previously served as an engineer for the county government before resigning in 2013 to build his business, announced his intention to run in January.

"I'm a young professional and I see that the board is well-represented for the senior population. I'd like to bring some fresh perspective and represent people my age," he said.

Ellison announced his candidacy in late February after being involved with government at various levels for 27 years in DeKalb County.

"I've always wanted to give back to the county one way or another. This way I would have some input on how things are being done," he said.

Fausett, who did not formally announce her candidacy until after she qualified Thursday, said her experience in the agriculture industry sets her apart.

"I think I can help people because I've got the rural perspective, the agri-tourism perspective. We've got a niche here that we can really capitalize on if we'll keep on and preserve what we have," she said. "People have told me they want our rural areas preserved. Once everything is gone, it's gone."

In all likelihood, the other elected posts will be decided at the conclusion of the primary, as no Democrats qualified, though a second qualifying period for independent candidates will be held June 23-27 at the local board of elections and registration office on Academy Avenue.

Incumbent Jimmy Hamby is running unopposed for the District 3 commission post, as are incumbent Will Wade for an at-large school board seat and political newcomer Karen Armstrong for longtime school board member Cecil Bennett's District 3 seat.
Bennett is not seeking reelection.

State Sen. Steve Gooch in District 51, District 9 state Rep. Kevin Tanner and Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh are running unopposed.

Rep. David Ralston, whose 7th District includes northern Dawson County, faces S.L. "Sam" Snider, a teacher and coach from Ellijay, in the primary.