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Incumbents carry the day
Races tight to the end
1 Election pic1
Acting Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan, center, thanks the Dawson County High School Crump Crew for its support of his mayoral bid. Grogan gathered with supporters to wait for election results Tuesday night at Old Towne Pizza in downtown Dawsonville. - photo by Chelsea Thomas Dawson Community News

The returns from the primary election were slow coming in Tuesday night.

But with all votes counted from each precinct, it was clear Billy Carlisle would remain Dawson County's sheriff and Kevin Tanner would represent District 9 in the state House of Representatives.

In addition, acting Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan staked a resounding lead in his mayoral bid.

Carlisle tallied 3,038 votes, or more than 63 percent, over Johnny Glass's 951 votes, or nearly 20 percent, and Kevin Ellison's 820 votes, or about 17 percent.

"I need to thank all the citizens of the county that came out and voted today. I'm humbled by the support that's been shown to me from the citizens, especially in the last few months," Carlisle said.

"Now, I'm ready to get back to doing what we do best and that's serving the citizens of this county proudly. I'm looking forward to the next four years."

Tanner pulled away from Clint Smith by a wide margin, receiving about 2,923 votes, or about 71 percent, to Smith's 1,182 votes, or nearly 29 percent.

The district also includes parts of Forsyth County and Lumpkin County, which Tanner carried.

"Having served my community for almost 23 years, I was humbled by the outpouring of support I received from the voters today, and I'll continue to work extremely hard as their representative in Atlanta," Tanner said.

Grogan, who has served as acting mayor since April, received 318 votes, or about 62 percent, to former councilman Calvin Byrd's 196 votes, or about 38 percent. Grogan will fill the unexpired term of Joe Lane Cox, who died in March.

"Right now I just want to say thank you to everyone who voted for me. We are now going to continue the progress we've started in the last six months," Grogan said.

"I am really, really excited. I feel like our city is on the verge of something great and I am so happy to be a part of it."

The races for tax commissioner, county commission chair and surveyor were close to the end, with the incumbent taking home the most votes in each contest.

Incumbent Tax Commissioner Linda Townley won a tight race against political newcomer Karin McKee, separated by fewer than 200 votes.

"I want to say thank-you to my voters. My staff and I will continue to work hard for them in the next few years," Townley said.

Townley received 2,436 votes, or about 52 percent, to McKee's 2,286 votes, or about 48 percent.

County Commission Chairman Mike Berg also edged challenger and former commissioner Mike Connor, with 2,505 votes, or about 54 percent, to Connor's 2,149 votes, or about 46 percent.

"I want to thank the citizens of Dawson County for having faith in me, faith in the board of commissioners and faith in the system that we've been using since I've been chairman," Berg said.

"When I started this campaign, I decided to take the high road and that proved to be the right thing to do."

Incumbent county surveyor Donald "Rex" Jones held off challengers Ben Trail and Gregg Bagwell with about 53 percent, or 2,271 votes, of the tally.

"I am very grateful for the support of folks who voted for me. I will continue to strive to do my best. This is a position where you are entrusted with the property rights of people and it's important to be honest."

In other ballot issues, Dawson County residents were solidly against a proposed regional sales tax for transportation.