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Incumbents fall in Barrow BOE races

POSTED: July 23, 2014 8:55 a.m.
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Mike Shelley

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There’s going to be some major turnover on the Barrow County Board of Education come January.

Randall Holland, the longest serving member of the board, and one-term incumbent Will Dunn were both defeated in Republican Primary runoff elections Tuesday night.

In District 1, challenger Debi Krause, who had won just 32 percent in the primary to 46 percent for Holland, completed a stunning upset by grabbing nearly 54 percent of the vote (392 votes to 336).

Krause will face Democrat Betty Kinney in the November general election.

Michael Shelley topped Dunn 375 to 200 in District 4, winning more than 65 percent of the vote.

Krause, Vice President of Membership Services at the Barrow Chamber of Commerce, said she didn’t think she had much of a chance after the primary result, but she nevertheless did what she could do turn the vote in her favor.

She said she got on the phone, used Facebook and even called on her old girl scouts to vote.

"I had a lot of support from people I’ve known a long time," she said.

Holland has served on the board since 1987, and, while disappointed in the result, reflected on what he helped to accomplish as a member.

"I will miss it. But I enjoyed it, I enjoined serving people and the kids," he said. "We’ve come a long way, and we’re on the right track."

Holland said one of the key changes he helped with was moving the board office to the old Walmart building in Holly Hill Mall. He said the key issue he hadn’t yet had a chance to accomplish was to get another high school in Statham, heart of District 1.

He added that some "new blood" could also be a good thing on the board.

That will definitely include Shelley and Suzanne Angle, who won Dan Cromer’s soon-to-be vacant seat outright, and the winner of November’s District 1 general election.

Shelley was pleased with the big win.

"I am humbled by the confidence voters of Barrow County District 4 have expressed in allowing me to serve them as their representative on the Board of Education," he said in an emailed statement. "With God's help and their input I hope to be their voice. I want to thank Mr. Dunn for his service on the board and I look forward to his input in the transition process. Thank you Barrow County for your vote!!"

Dunn, who said he initially went back and forth on whether or not to even run again, said earlier that he would help Shelley with the transition if needed.

He also said Tuesday night that a wave of anti-incumbent fervor at the state and national level couldn’t have helped.

"It’s feeling like an anti-incumbent year," he said.

It certainly is on the Barrow County School Board.

 

State school superintendent

State school superintendent was the only runoff on the ballot in Barrow County for both Democrats and Republicans.

Valarie Wilson held off Alisha Morgan 54-46 percent in the Democratic runoff and will likely face Richard Woods, who was poised to defeat Mike Buck by a razor thin margin as of press time in the Republican runoff, in November. (Editor's note: A recount is a possibility in the Republican race due to the small margin)

In Barrow, Wilson topped Morgan 75-71 and Woods edged out Buck 1,879-1,839.

Just 14.19 percent of registered Barrow voters cast ballots in the runoff.

 

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