Representation for District five will be decided in a runoff election August 21 between Tom Bledsoe and Kevin Cunningham.
After the election results decide a winner, all there commissioners will be sworn into office sometime in late December, according to Gordon County Administrator Randy Dowling.
Sexton, Gazaway and the winner of the District Five race will attend a three day conference in Athens for first time sitting commissioners, hosted by the Association of County Commissoners of Georgia (ACCG), said Dowling.
After the new commissioners are sworn in, a Chairperson will be chosen amongst members of the board to act as chairperson for two years, at which time another chairperson may be chosen.
Gazaway will replace Judy Bailey who has served as a Commissioner for two terms, or eight years, and Sexton will replace Alvin Long, who has served on the board for twelve years, or three terms.
With the newly elected commissioners, Becky Hood will have the most years served on the board, with six years.
New leadership in the County Commissioner District 1 seat
The burden of an election campaign is over for Jeff Gazaway, the new Gordon County Commissioner for District 1.
Gazaway, a challenger in Tuesday’s Gordon County State of Georgia Primary and NonPartisan General Election, carried 55.2 percent of the votes to unseat incumbent Judy Bailey.
His term begins on Jan. 1, 2013.
“I’m happy. You go in hoping you’re going to win, and when you do it’s a relief,” Gazaway said. “You think you’re going to win, and stay positive, but you don’t really know.”
Replacing Bailey who served two terms, or eight years, as the commissioner of District 1, will involve quite a bit of work, but Gazaway said he’s up to the challenge
The first order of business is to get the county working, and get all the county workers back to full time status, said Gazaway, who also hopes to get rid of the furlough days that linger over county employees.
Gazaway plans to stick to his conservative budgetary views while he holds the position.
“It’s hard to earn money, so it should be just as hard to spend it,” Gazaway said. “We need to take a hard look at the budget and how we spend money, and be more conservative.”
Gazaway also thinks the county can do a better job with bidding. His plans include getting the county the same service at a lower cost.
“I’m going to try and keep all the bids as local as possible, when appropriate and feasible,” said Gazaway. “There are some things you can’t get locally.”
Gazaway feels he is qualified for this position because of his background in business.
“I run a local business, and through the bad times we’ve been profitable 34 months in a row,” he said.
Gazaway is referring to Riverbend Farms, a family owned business. He is the current CFO, according to the most recent Annual Registration Form on the Georgia Secretary of State website.
Gazaway would also like to thank all the people that came out and showed their support by voting for him.
“Thank you very much. I’m so appreciative,” said Gazaway. “I will do my best to take care of the things they (Gordon County residents) want taking care of and what needs taken care of.”
Voters seat Sexton on board for District 3
In Tuesday’s primary elections, voters chose to unseat 12 year sitting Gordon County Commissioner for District three Alvin Long, but relationships have remained cordial even after results were released.
“I want to commend Mr. Long, he called me [Tuesday] evening, very cordial, and I am looking forward to sitting down with him to get some insight. He is going to help us as much as he can,” said Sexton. “I am a little bit surprised and elated over it, also I am a little bit disappointed in the turnout that we had, but all in all I am extremely pleased with how things went.”
Sexton was in the Gordon County Court House where results were being scrolled in and presented on a large screen for residents to witness the results as they were tabulated.
The District three race was a “nail bitter” according to Sexton of the close race and said the first thing that went through his mind when he realized he won was: “My lord, what am I going to do now?”
“Quite honestly I think maybe I was half a percent ahead until the last precinct reported and that’s the one that put me over the top,” said Sexton.
As commissioner of District three, Sexton hopes to bring more oversight from the people of Gordon County to the leadership of the Board of Commissioners.
“What I am looking forward to is to build confidence in the people and let them know it is not a commissioner’s government and stress to them to get involved in the decision making by letting us know what they desire, instead of us trying to figure out what they want,” said Sexton.
Sexton says he hopes to evaluate the tax situation in the county and hopes to decrease the millage rate.
“One thing I want to focus on right now is the people of Gordon County and our tax situation. I want to look for ways to cut the millage rate because we still have people losing their homes and not working and I will do everything I can to take that burden off of them,” said Sexton.
Though Sexton believes his victory is a “victory for the people of Gordon County,” and a victory he believes he was meant to achieve, Sexton does admit he will not seek reelection in the future.
“I really felt confident from day one because, this is hard to explain, but it is something I had to do, I couldn’t have lived with myself if I had not done this and I am a one time deal,” said Sexton. “I don’t have any intentions on running again, the only way that I would do a second term would be for people to write me in because I will not be pursuing a political career at this time in my life.”