DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — Chris Gaines expressed disappointment Thursday that in order to reach his goal of becoming Dawson County’s District 2 Commissioner he may have to win one more election.
It was less than three weeks ago that Gaines, won a hotly-contested race over Tim Davis in the Republican Primary. Since no Democrat had qualified, it appeared Gaines would be headed to the swearing in ceremony in January. Then he discovered that Robert Wiley, a retired Army major, combat veteran and junior ROTC instructor at Dawson County High School, is attempting to meet the requirements to run as an independent in November.
To qualify, Wiley will have to obtain the signatures of 5 percent of Dawson County’s registered voters (about 661) on a nomination petition by July 1. He says he currently has more than 400.
“Obviously I’m disappointed,” Gaines said. “He has followed the rules, but he claims to be a Republican so he should have qualified to run in the Republican Primary election.”
Gaines said he reached out to Wiley and the two had lunch a week ago.
“I didn’t know him and I wanted to find out why he was running and why he didn’t run in the primary. He said he just missed the deadline and the elections office told him the only way he could run was to qualify as an independent.”
Gaines previously served on the Dawsonville City Council. “I’m dedicated to running for this seat,” he said. “I have a proven track record and I’m confident we will pull it out with my long history of leadership in the county. It will just take more time, effort and capital now.”