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Ahrens, Chapman Win Races; Johnston Loses Re-Election Bid

Preliminary numbers show House District 22 incumbent Sam Moore has not received enough votes to make the runoff.

Credit: Patch
Credit: Patch
With less than 25 percent of registered voters in Cherokee County heading to the polls on Tuesday, one incumbent has returned to office while another has lost his bid to re-election.

Cherokee County Commission Chair Buzz Ahrens defeated challenger and former Holly Springs City Council member Jackie Archer with 58 percent, or 12,373 votes. Archer garnered 42 percent, or 9,024 votes.

However, District 1 Commissioner Harry Johnston, who represents Canton and northern Cherokee County, lost his bid to a fourth term to challenger Steve West. West defeated Johnston with 52 percent, or 3,417 votes, compared to Johnston's 48 percent, or 3,194 votes.

In the Cherokee County School Board races, former longtime board member and Canton resident Mike Chapman cruised to victory over challenger Susie Tlacil for the District 6 seat that represents west and northwest Cherokee.

Chapman received 72 percent, or 2,297 votes, compared to Tlacil's 28 percent, or 913 votes.

In the District 5 race, Woodstock resident Clark Menard beat fellow challenger Erica Williams, who also lives in Woodstock, for that seat. Menard received 59 percent, or 1,491 votes. Williams, on the other hand, received 41 percent, or 1,030 votes.

For District 4 in southwest Cherokee County, incumbent Rick Steiner defeated challenger Robert Strozier with 58 percent, or 1,836 votes. Strozier received 42 percent, or 1,313votes. 

In District 3, which covers southeast Cherokee, challenger John Harmon squeaked out a win over Brett Ladd. Harmon received 52 percent, or 1,852 votes. Ladd garnered 48 percent, or 1,698 votes.

Two races — County Commission District 4 and House District 22 — appear to be headed to a run-off. Larry Singleton currently leads the pack in the District 4 race, with 41 percent, or 1,678 votes. He's followed by Scott Gordon at 34 percent, or 1,409 votes, and Joe Robert at 25 percent, or 1,013 votes.

For the State House District 22 race, with only Cherokee County precinct reporting, incumbent Sam Moore has not garnered enough votes to make what appears will be a runoff. 

Wes Cantrell currently is in the lead for the seat that covers portions of Cherokee, Forsyth and north Fulton County.

Cantrell has received 38 percent, or 2,826 votes. He's followed by Meagan Biello at 32 percent, or 2,396 votes. Moore has only received 29 percent, or 2,165 votes.

Out of 125,175 registered voters in Cherokee, only 25,681 or 21 percent, cast ballots in the primary. The runoff is scheduled for July 22. 
Georgia Voter May 20, 2014 at 10:49 PM
I am very disappointed that Harry Johnston lost. His opponent did NOT deserve to win. Steve West ran a very dirty campaign. He and Cosby told outright lies and I hope they get sue for libel and slander.
Georgia Voter May 20, 2014 at 10:53 PM
One more thing: voter turnout was pitiful. As I see it, 79% of our country residents have no right to complain at all if our elected officials do anything those non-voters don't like.
Kristal Dixon May 20, 2014 at 11:50 PM
Yes, turnout was disappointing.
Raleigh May 21, 2014 at 04:23 AM
I can’t believe Harry got as many votes as he did. He should have lost for signing us up for an 18.1 million dollar second mortgage on our homes. He and Buzz knew better and did it anyway. The Grand Jury even said it had grave concerns about county government.
Joe Johnson May 22, 2014 at 01:30 PM
Somebody should have lost their job over this fiasco. In retrospect I bet the commission wished they had fired the county manager, cfo, or both. These staff people get paid enormous amounts of money to do their full time jobs. Not defending the commission but these guys are part timers and not necessarily experts in all areas of government. Why do the staff people responsible for county finances still have jobs?

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