Cathey takes District 5
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Republican Sammy Cathey of southeastern Morgan County won a seat on the Board of Commissioners Tuesday, garnering 64 percent of the vote in a run-off election with Democratic opponent Joyce Thomas.
“I’m glad it’s over,” said Cathey at election headquarters on Hancock Street in Madison on Tuesday evening. “But the best thing is that Joyce and I came into this thing as friends, and now we’re leaving as friends. We can get on with the business of running the county,” said Cathey.
Tuesday night’s results were unofficial, as there was one outstanding provisional ballot to be verified, and that was not scheduled to take place until Thursday.
About 25 percent of the Buckhead area’s 2,218 registered voters braved the blustery spring rains to cast votes in the run-off election. Another seven percent cast either absentee or advance votes, for a total of 699 ballots cast.
Since the run-off was the only item on the ballot, just two county polling stations were open, both in commission District Five.
The race for commissioner was necessary to fill the seat of the late Morgan County commissioner Chester Thomas, who died suddenly last October; Chester Thomas was the husband of candidate Joyce Thomas. A total of four candidates were on the ballot on the February 5 election day, which was Super Tuesday in Georgia. Cathey and Thomas garnered the most votes in that election, but neither gained the necessary majority of 50 percent plus one vote required to win outright, triggering Tuesday’s run-off contest. Cathey ran against Thomas on a platform of controlled growth, the upholding of zoning law, and county-wide water.
“I think Morgan County needs to be in the water business; we need to get the ball rolling,” he said during a candidates’ debate in Buckhead in January.