Morgan County’s District Five seat to be decided
By Kathryn Purcell
After a month’s time, residents of Morgan County’s Fifth District will finally get their chance to elect a representative to the Board of Commissioners next week.
The Special Election Run-off between Democratic candidate Joyce Thomas and Republican candidate Sammy Cathey is slated for Tuesday, March 4 at the District 5 precincts. One of these candidates will fill the seat on the Board of Commissioners previously held by the late Chester Thomas.
The winning candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote.
“Fifty plus one – in other words, ever who gets the majority will win,” Morgan County Elections Supervisor Bobby Howington said.
Previously, in the February election, Cathey held 43 percent of the vote, while Thomas came in with 29 percent.
In asking the candidates to note differences between themselves and their opponent, Thomas cited her backing of local public organizations.
“I may be a stronger supporter of the library than he is; I may be a stronger supporter of the hospital, Morgan Memorial Hospital, than he is,” Thomas said. “I would like to be a representative of all the people in the district. I would like to be as fair-minded as possible.”
Thomas went on to refer to her experiences watching and learning from her late husband, Chester Thomas, as a major reason she’s the best candidate for the District 5 seat.
“I feel that I’ve learned a lot about being a county commissioner in the last seven years,” Thomas said. “I can listen to many different sides of a question and understand many different points of view.”
Alternately, Cathey cited his previous experience in county government as a major difference between himself and Thomas, as well as being the reason he’d be the best candidate for the seat on the Board of Commissioners.
“I think my experience on the Planning Commission, my willingness to be available to all the people in District 5 [makes me different from my opposition],” Cathey said.
Both Cathey and Thomas acknowledged that growth was their major concern for Morgan County.
“I hope to keep Morgan County a fairly rural area, get some jobs in here and [have] countywide water,” Cathey said.
“I think we’re in need of more industry here; I would like to work on that,” Thomas said. “But, I would like, primarily, to keep the growth very controlled.”
Advance voting began on Monday for residents of Morgan County’s District 5, and continues through the end of the week. Those who wish to vote early can visit the Board of Elections and Registration office, located at 434 Hancock Street in Madison, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to cast their ballots.
Election Day is Tuesday, March 4, and runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are two precincts involved in the run-off election – the Buckhead Precinct, located in the Buckhead Fire Station at 4881 Buckhead Road, and the Bethany-Springfield Precinct, located in the Bethany-Springfield Fire Station at 4291 Seven Islands Road.
In order to vote, residents need one of the six forms of photo identification accepted by state poll workers – a Georgia Driver’s License, even if expired; any valid state or federal government-issued photo identification; a valid United States passport; valid employee photo identification from any branch, department, agency or entity of the United States government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of the state; any valid United States military photo identification; or any valid tribal photo identification.
For more information on the run-off election, call the Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration at 706.342.2508 or visit their Web site at www.morganga.org/Departments/Elections/tabid/127/Default.aspx.