Election: Brown, McCarty win most of Fayette’s 36 precincts

Incumbents Smith, Maxwell fare best in PTC polls

One of the biggest questions left from last week’s primary election was how deposed Peachtree City Mayor Steve Brown, who had seemed to have spent all his political capital in two successive failed elections, managed to unseat sitting Fayette County Commissioner Jack Smith.

Brown has been known as one of the most divisive voices in Fayette’s recent political history, at least to hear it from other elected officials he has clashed with.

But his rallying cry for this campaign, which centered largely on canceling the West Fayetteville Bypass and diverting the funds to other projects, among other things, resounded with voters.

Brown’s surprise win with 7,554 votes to Smith’s 6,613 included romps of more than 60 percent in five precincts. Among those were a 69.44 percent showing in the Hopeful precinct on the far north end of Ga. Highway 92. Likewise Brown trounced Smith in the Europe precinct off Hwy. 279 in north Fayette with 62.59 percent of the vote, with 64.9 percent in the Dogwood precinct in north central Fayette, with 61.36 percent of the vote in the Kenwood precinct in north Fayette at Kenwood Road and with 60.28 percent in the Willow Pond precinct in central Fayette.

By and large most of those five precincts stand to be affected by the bypass that Brown wants to cancel.

Conventional political wisdom gives incumbents an edge, presuming they haven’t done anything to raise the ire of a mass of voters. But the incumbent Smith won only one nine of the county’s 36 precincts, with his best showing in the Aberdeen precinct in north central Peachtree City with 59.33 percent of the vote.

Smith also won a majority of votes in the Peachtree City precincts of McIntosh, Oak Grove, Camp Creek, and Windgate, the Fayetteville precincts of Fayetteville West and Spring Hill and the south Fayette precincts of Brooks and Woolsey. Of these, Smith’s largest victory was 53.61 percent in the Fayetteville West precinct, closely followed by a 53 percent victory in the Camp Creek precinct in southeast Peachtree City.

Along with bringing Brown back into office, voters also favored his informal running mate, Allen McCarty, who joined him on the campaign trail and also sounded a call to halt spending on the West Fayetteville bypass.

McCarty took 7,544 votes to 6,346 for his challenger, incumbent Commissioner Eric Maxwell. McCarty won all but five of Fayette’s precincts; those five were taken by Maxwell.

McCarty had resounding victories of more than 60 percent in five precincts: the Hopeful (68.21 percent), Kenwood (61.36 percent) and Dogwood (62.14 percent) precincts that also heavily favored Brown and also the Flint precinct in eastern Fayette County south of Ga. Highway 54 at 60.35 percent and the Sandy Creek precinct north of Tyrone at 60.17 percent.

Among the five precincts Maxwell won were the Fayetteville West, Brooks, Woolsey, Flat Creek and Aberdeen precincts, with his largest victory in Peachtree City’s Aberdeen area with 55.59 percent of the vote.

Fayette County voters also resoundingly re-elected Dr. Bob Todd to the Fayette County Board of Education with a whopping 61.96 percent of the vote. Challenger Charlie Cave, a political newcomer, won just over 38 percent of the vote.

Todd won each of Fayette’s 36 precincts in the victory, which secures his seat on the board as he faces no Democratic challenger in the general election.

The other school board race, for the post five school board seat, will occur during the November general election as voters will choose between Republican Sam Tolbert and Democrat Laura D. Burgess.

Fayetteville voters also rejected a proposal to redirect tax dollars to redevelop several commercial areas downtown, most of which were on Ga. Highway 85 North and suffering from the mass exodus of stores northward to the Fayette Pavilion area and to a lesser degree the southern part of Fayetteville.

The Tax Allocation District proposal was defeated with 1,168 votes against, compared to 1,041 votes for the concept.

The plan also would have required votes in favor from a majority of the county commission and school board to redirect the property taxes they would have received toward the redevelopment effort.

In addition to blighted commercial areas along Hwy. 85, the proposal approved by the Fayetteville City Council also called for “redevelopment” of an undeveloped tract of land along Ga. Highway 54 West at the entrance to the Villages at LaFayette subdivision.

Not quite 28 percent of the county’s registered voters participated in Tuesday’s primary election, with 19,276 ballots cast among 69,119 registered voters. The final voter turnout was determined to be 27.89 percent.

Among races for the Georgia legislature, Fayetteville’s Emory Wilkerson lost a bid to unseat incumbent District 74 Democrat Roberta Abdul-Salaam, who took 62.6 percent of the vote. Incumbent District 34 Senator Valencia Seay held off two challengers to claim 52.1 percent of the vote in the Democratic race, defeating Travis Spruill and former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. Despite his controversial one-term reign as sheriff, Hill managed 39.4 percent of the vote district-wide with 4,757 supporters to Seay’s 6,294 votes.

In statewide races, Fayette Republican voters resoundingly supported Karen Handel for the party’s nomination as governor. Handel won 38 percent of the vote here with Nathan Deal finishing second with 24.35 percent. The two are heading to a statewide runoff election Aug. 10.

On the Democratic side, Gov. Roy Barnes handily carried Fayette County with 73.93 percent of the vote as he cruised to victory statewide for the Democratic nomination. In November Barnes will face the winner of the Handel-Deal runoff.

Also headed for a runoff statewide are:

• Gail Buckner (35.1 percent) and Georganna Sinkfield (22.6 percent) in the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State

• Sam Olens (39.9 percent) and Preston W. Smith (30.6 percent) in the Republican nomination for Attorney General;

• Republicans Ralph Hudgens (20.7 percent) and Maria Sheffield (19.6 percent) for their party’s nomination for state Insurance Commissioner.

Georgia voters also decided a number of other statewide races in Tuesday’s primary:

• Carol Porter won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor with 69.7 percent of the vote. She will face Republican incumbent Casey Cagle in November’s general election;

• Brian Kemp won the Republican nomination for secretary of state with 59.2 percent of the vote. He will face the winner of the Buckner-Sinkfield runoff.

• Michael Thurmond handily won a two-man race for the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Thurmond in November will face incumbent Johnny Isakson.

• Ken Hodges won the Democratic nomination for attorney general with 65.5 percent of the vote over challenger Rob Telihet. He will face the winner of the Olens-Smith runoff in November.

• John Barge won the Republican nomination for state school superintendent with 51.9 percent of the vote. He will face Democrat Jim Martin, who won a three-way race for the Democratic nomination with 54.9 percent of the vote.

tiffany's picture
Joined: 09/29/2010
Details about the Obama plan to end Bush tax cuts for the rich.

The Bush tax reductions expire at the finish of the year as initially scheduled when they were enacted. Those making $200,000 years and above would say goodbye to the Bush tax reductions under Obama’s proposal, while everyone else gets a two year extension. Democrats hurting America by raising taxes during a recession is a key Republican talking point. Facts about extending the Bush tax cuts and the Obama tax plan. Obama uses shortage reduction as his rationale for leaving individuals considered rich out of the tax cut equation. Some analysts say the Obama tax plan won't make a difference in reducing the deficit, while tax cuts in general won't help the economy. For the moment it does not matter. People in politics have temporarily tabled the issue. Democrats who say they support the Obama tax plan are too afraid to vote on it before the November elections, lest they be crucified at the polls for raising taxes.

Courthouserules's picture
Joined: 07/02/2010
tiff: taxes

If Bush had not given the Corporations and families making over a quarter million dollars a year (250,000) a tax break, we would not have much of a debt by now.

Those taxes had they been collected all these years would have balanced the budget.

It has been tried at least twice in recent history to make tax cuts to prosper the economy---it always makes it worse due to no "trickle down" by the big earners!

Example: the status of the economy right now from Bush's tax cuts!

Naive voters simply don't understand what the ultra-rich and corporations want! That is the reason to put off the vote. Anyway the cut for the rich will go away when it is voted upon.

I am glad however that you fall into the category of over $200,000! How much does your spouse make also?

pips1414's picture
Joined: 03/18/2009
Brown-McCarty WIn Will Reflect Upon Smith and Maxwell Supporters

It's nothing less than amazing that Brown and McCarty had such a resounding victory. Opponents painted Brown, former Mayor of Peachtree City, as "divisive and leading in the wrong direction." McCarty's experience was non-government. Nevertheless, both challengers fared well with huge margins in six precincts in the WFB area, and both taking 30 or more of 36 total precincts. For two years, the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition had been trying to make the sitting commissioners see that the WFB was the worst project ever to be forced upon the voters of Fayette County. The WFBC is simply a defense mechanism made up of folks who arose to thwart the tactics the county used to launch the WFB. Even so, other county leaders, state and U. S. representatives still endorsed the incumbents. It's this kind of "buddy buddy" attitude that the voters hated to see. No doubt, Brown and McCarty will remember those who stood up in support of Smith and Maxwell's inflexible attitude in favor of the WFB.

It is hoped that the remaining commissioners have seen the writing on the wall, and will not turn a deaf ear to the majority. Unfortunately, there is a price to be paid for not listening to the voters.

Let this be a lesson. When the majority doesn't rule, it's time for more "squeaky wheels."

swac's picture
Joined: 02/28/2007
Steve brown

How many PTC precincts did ex PTC Mayor Brown win?
We know how divisive he can be.

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Joined: 07/21/2006
Go Work For That Left Leaning Newspaper In Town

There's another newspaper in town that is better suited for Mr. Munford.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Joined: 11/29/2006

You guy won, so get off your high horse back off. No where in the article did Munford show bias. He merely relayed what others think of Brown. He did so in a manner much nicer than I've heard you use while refering to the former mayor.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown's picture
Joined: 12/02/2009
I agree with M. King

As I stated below, in most cases (there have been some exceptions), John Munford keeps personal emotions out of the story.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Joined: 11/29/2006

Mr Brown and I actually agree! Would I be pushing the envelope if I ask the commissioner-elect to speak with Mayor Haddix regarding our Land Use Plan that is seemingly ignored regarding a proposed annexation on our southern border? After all, I've heard both of you extolling the virtues of Peachtree City's Village Concept.

johenry's picture
Joined: 08/22/2006

If you call being honest to the people "divisive," Steve Brown was incredibly divisive.

Look at all the bums who called Steve divisive: Bob Lenox (frowned upon), Harold Logsdon (unelectable), development council (hiding under rocks), Greg Dunn (hiding under a rock), Fred Brown (too old to care about), Jack Smith (thrashed), and Eric Maxwell (thrashed). And did any of those guys care about what the little people thought? Nah!

Thank you Steve Brown because a little bit of divisiveness goes a long way.

Ninja Guy
Ninja Guy's picture
Joined: 06/26/2010
Divisiveness Over Corruption Any Day

I have not been here very long, so I don't know much about Brown's stint as PTC mayor. However, from what I can tell from past news articles, his 'divisiveness' put an end to some bad projects (TDK Blvd) and appears to be doing the same for the West Bypass. Same goes for Imker on the PTC council and Dr. Todd on the BoE.

fay79isus's picture
Joined: 02/21/2007
Brown Divisive ? Ha ....

Calling Brown "divisive" John Munford showed his usual bias, selected on a case by case basis. Presumably he still can't get over it and expects the powers-that-be to put Steve out with the trash next election. If Brown is divisive, gimme more.

That wasn't what was the most entertaining line from Munford's story. Here it is:

"McCarty took 7,544 votes to 6,346 for his challenger, incumbent Commissioner Eric Maxwell. McCarty won all but five of Fayette’s precincts; those five were taken by Maxwell."

I chuckled when I read that. If McCarty won all but five precincts, who the hell else won 'em but Maxwell? LOL !

Chris P. Bacon
Chris P. Bacon's picture
Joined: 02/28/2010
Agreed...this was not John Munford's best wordsmithing
fay79isus wrote:

Calling Brown "divisive" John Munford showed his usual bias, selected on a case by case basis. Presumably he still can't get over it and expects the powers-that-be to put Steve out with the trash next election. If Brown is divisive, gimme more.

That wasn't what was the most entertaining line from Munford's story. Here it is:

"McCarty took 7,544 votes to 6,346 for his challenger, incumbent Commissioner Eric Maxwell. McCarty won all but five of Fayette’s precincts; those five were taken by Maxwell."

I chuckled when I read that. If McCarty won all but five precincts, who the hell else won 'em but Maxwell? LOL !

I generally like John Munford's writing, but the first four paragraphs of so of the above article seem distinctly un-Munford-esque. The lede is liberally larded with loaded language ("deposed", "divisive", etc) that shrieks of a sub-rosa agenda.

Spyglass's picture
Joined: 01/28/2008
Munford referenced other elected officials

opinions in regards to their thoughts re Brown and his so called divisiveness. Nothing more, nothing less in that regard.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown's picture
Joined: 12/02/2009

That is the power of the pen - you get to chose the adjectives.

It is apparent that John Munford's politics and mine do not always agree. As long as he tries to be objective and keep his emotions out of the interview, there is no problem, and more times than not he pulls that off.

Spyglass's picture
Joined: 01/28/2008
If we all agreed on everything..

It would be a very boring world.

Best of luck over the next 4 years.

5thwave's picture
Joined: 07/09/2010
This Election and "the Pack"

Let's see. Susan Brown, who finally did the right thing, turns in (former) Judge Caldwell for sexual remarks.

Mrs. Brown was also Eric Maxwell's Campaign Manager. Susan Brown also brought along Eric Maxwell to "be a witness" in a meeting about Caldwell with (former) Judge English, Brown and Judge Edwards.

Eric Maxwell was Scott Ballard's Campaign Manager when Ballard first ran for District Attorney. Maxwell was a sitting Judge in Peachtree City at the time. Judges are supposed to stay out of partisan politics, but some don't have to.

Then, it's revealed publically that Judge English was "having an affair" with a Public Defender. "An affair" is too dignified a term for what they were doing but I don't want to get banned for being more graphic.

I say, "revealed publically" because "The Pack" had already known about it for a long time. Many of "The Pack", and anyone else "around the Courthouse" could have benefited from their secret knowledge.

We don't really know if they did benefit, all we do know is that none of them brought any information to any authorities, or to the public. When the news did "go public", two of "The Pack" members "investigate" but don't find anything wrong. The Sheriff says that evidence was destroyed.

As a result, we had or have two open Judgeships and a District Attorney who falsely attacked one of the remaining Judges (looking to create another opening?).

The, the Lawyers got in line to try to get appointed by the Governor to one of these openings. Scott Ballard and Eric Maxwell were on the list. So was Fletcher Sams. If Sams gets an appointment, that opens his current post, State Court Judge, for another appointment.

State Court is the slot that Eric Maxwell had been eying and he said that he wanted to remain on the Superior Court List so that he could tell the Governor to appoint Sams to Superior Court! Maxwell was at the same time running for re-election to the County Commission.

"The Pack" is the group of Fayette County politicians who have cross endorsed and supported each other; Eric Maxwell, Jack Smith, Randall Johnson (the old Sheriff), Wayne Hannah (the new Sheriff), Scott Ballard, Ken Steele, Herb Frady, Lee Hearn, Al Hovey-King, Robert Horgan, George Wingo, Larry Dell, Sheila Studdard and recently Lynn Westmoreland, Ronnie Chance and Matt Ramsey.

Hey, I like some of them too, but they all need to take a good look at themselves and we need to take a better look at them. Do they truly remember who they are supposed to work for?

I've seen the rants on this site that claim that Harold Bost and his friends are "trying to take over Fayette County" or "elect their puppets". Before this, the same rants used to be about Greg Dunn, Linda Wells and Peter Pfeifer.

These rants have all ignored what's been going on right in front of our faces! The Pack. Maybe there's been a lot of misdirection and the voters are beginning to figure it out.

tortugaocho's picture
Joined: 12/05/2005
5th Wave right about the "Political Pack"

You make some interesting observations. You could say that this election was largely about the road to nowhere, and you might be right. I think there is more to this election though. Eric Maxwell spending $100,000 and losing to a guy who spent a measly couple of grand and is completely, completely unknown. I think the judges' whoring around and what not had something to do with this election. The lawyers and everyone at the courthouse knew about Pappy and his velcro fly. Probably no coincidence that neither Maxwell nor Ballard made the Governors short list for judge.

Courthouserules's picture
Joined: 07/02/2010

Goodness gracious, I don't think PTC can compete with such a group as you describe in the "pack" business.

Where are the developers, bankers, finance people, contractors, and fighters of section 8 apartments and small lots?