Dawson County Middle School student charged with terroristic threats

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — At 8:54 a.m. on Friday, (March 15), the Dawson County School System received information from Gaggle that a Dawson County Middle School student attempted to send an email that was perceived to be a potential threat to the school or students.

Gaggle intercepted the email and notified school administrators and Safe Schools Coordinator Tony Wooteen of the potential threat.  Immediately after receiving the information, the issue was referred to the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.

A 12-year-old student was immediately removed from class and charged with one count of Terroristic Threats and one count of Disruption of a Public School.  The investigation is ongoing by the sheriff’s office.

In a press release, School Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs said, “The Dawson County School System takes all threats seriously and, as always, the safety of our students is our top priority.  I want to thank Sheriff Johnson and his staff for acting quickly and handling the situation professionally.  The school system will deal with the student per the Code of Conduct to ensure the ongoing safety of our student body.

Gaggle is an educational partner that alerts school officials when students show signs of self harm, depression, thoughts of suicide, substance abuse, cyberbullying, and credible threats of violence against other students.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

Attorneys present closing arguments in Tisdale trial

News

Defense attorney Catherine Bernard

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Attorneys made their closing arguments and Senior Superior Court Judge Martha Christian turned the case over to the jury around midday Monday in the trial of Nydia Tisdale on charges of obstruction of an officer and criminal trespassing.

The charges against Tisdale stem from a political rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in August 2014. The state argued that Tisdale, a “self-proclaimed” citizen journalist, refused repeated requests by owner Johnny Burt to stop filming the event then elbowed and kicked former Dawson County Sheriff Capt. Tony Wooten when he attempted to remove her.

In her closing argument, defense attorney Catherine Bernard said the case was about the notice Tisdale was given. “Nydia Tisdale was never asked (to stop filming) by anyone who had legal authority,” she said. “You can’t just tell somebody to get off somebody else’s property. You have to present some type of authority.”

Asst. D.A. Conley Greer

Assistant District Attorney Conley Greer countered by saying Clint Bearden identified himself as a representative of the owner when he asked Tisdale to stop filming.

Bernard said it wasn’t the Burts who initiated the request to stop filming, but Bearden, who claimed some of the campaigns were unhappy she was filming.

Greer said that doesn’t matter. “No matter the rationale (the owner) had every right to make that decision,” Greer added.

The basis of the state’s argument is that the case is about private property rights.

“If a person can’t be free on his own property to do with that property what he sees fit, can they ever be free?” Greer asked. “Ever?”

Tisdale could face up to five years in jail if convicted.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

State presents case against “citizen journalist”

News

Nydia Tisdale (left) confers with her defense team during Tuesday’s trial in Dawson County Superior Court.

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Prosecutors presented a string of witnesses who testified Tuesday that self-proclaimed citizen journalist Nydia Tisdale refused repeated requests by Burt’s Pumpkin Farm owners to stop filming a political rally on their property in August 2014.

Event coordinator Clint Bearden testified that Tisdale ignored at least five requests to stop filming before she was physically removed by Dawson County Sheriff’s Captain Tony Wooten. Tisdale has been charged with one felony and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of an officer and criminal trespassing after the officer said she elbowed him in the face and kicked him in the shin.

Clint Bearden, an attorney and magistrate judge who is on a short list to become a state superior court judge, testified that he organized the event that included some of Georgia’s top politicians, including Gov. Nathan Deal and then U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue.

Bearden said he and Wooten talked to property owner Johnny Burt who wanted Tisdale to stop filming or leave. He said he asked her 3-4 times to stop and she ignored him. “I thought she was a little rude,” he said. “She said she had permission from the owners, but I told her I had just talked to Johnny Burt and she did not have permission.”

Johnny Burt testified that when Wooten told her to stop filming or leave “she just blurted out ‘No’. So I told him to get her out of here. She was screaming out that my wife told her she could film, and I told her that wasn’t true.”

Kasey Sanders, the Burts’ daughter testified that she was at the entrance when Tisdale arrived and that she never asked for permission. “She just said she was there to film for the governor,” Sanders said.

In an audio recording produced by Brian K. Pritchard of Fetch Your News, Tisdale can be heard screaming for Wooten to identify himself.

Wooten, who was dressed in a black polo shirt with a silver embroidered sheriff’s badge and khakis also had a badge on his belt, his service revolver and a police-issued radio.

Defense attorney Bruce Harvey asked Wooten why he didn’t immediately identify himself. Wooten responded that his first responsibility was the safety of the crowd. “I didn’t know her or what her intentions were,” he said. He said once he got her away from the crowd and she calmed down, he did identify himself.

The trial continues Wednesday in Dawson County Superior Court.

After the jury was dismissed for the day, Judge Martha Christian denied a motion to quash a subpoena for Gov. Nathan Deal who is expected to testify before the end of the week.

The state is expected up wrap up its case Wednesday before the defense begins calling its witnesses.

Closing arguments set Monday in Tisdale trial

News

Attorneys Conley Greer (seated) and defense attorney Bruce Harvey talk during court recess.

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Closing arguments are expected Monday in the long-delayed trial of Nydia Tisdale, the self-proclaimed citizen journalist charged with felony obstruction of an officer following a 2014 Republican rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm.

Senior State Superior Court Judge Martha Christian could have continued the trial today (Dec. 2) but indicated she was aware of a special event taking place today that could be a distraction, referring to the Georgia vs. Auburn SEC Championship game in Atlanta.

Tisdale is also charged with misdemeanor obstruction and criminal trespassing. She could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Nydia Tisdale charged with felony obstruction of an officer.

The state contends that Tisdale ignored the property owners’ repeated demands to stop filming the rally or leave, then struck and kicked former Dawson County Sheriff’s Captain Tony Wooten when he attempted to remove her.

On the witness stand Friday, Tisdale admitted she had been told on three separate occasions to stop filming but said, “In my mind, he didn’t have any authority to demand that of me.” Tisdale repeatedly said she had the permission of Burt’s Pumpkin Farm co-owner Kathy Burt to film the event.

However, Burt and her daughter, Kasey Sanders, greeted Tisdale when she arrived and both testified the defendant never asked permission. They said she indicated she was there filming for Gov. Nathan Deal, who also attended the rally. Burt said she felt like Tisdale misrepresented herself.

There were other apparent inconsistencies in Tisdale’s testimony. She said as she was being detained by Wooten, she heard Burt say she did not want to press charges. However, Burt denied saying that and an audio recording on Tisdale’s camera picked up no such statement by Burt.

Judge Martha Christian considers objection from defense counsel.

Tisdale also testified that she never hit Wooten but Morris Petit, who testified for the state, said he witnessed the defendant strike the officer, “around the facial area, the neck. That was almost immediate.”

Defense attorney Bruce Harvey subpoenaed Gov. Nathan Deal, who occupied a front row seat near Tisdale at the rally, but Christian quashed the subpoena.

She also denied a motion by Harvey for a directed verdict.

Other leading state officials, including former Attorney General Sam Olens, Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and State School Superintendent Richard Woods did testify this week. All said they had no objection to Tisdale filming the event.

Hudgens, one of the first state officials to speak at the event, testified he did not talk to anyone about getting rid of Tisdale or stopping her from filming.

However, Clint Bearden, an attorney who is on the short list to become a state superior court judge, testified on rebuttal that Hudgens was outraged by being filmed and wanted Tisdale to stop.

Bearden said he told Burt’s Pumpkin Farm co-owner Johnny Burt that some of the campaigns were concerned about being filmed, and Burt responded by saying, “Tell her to turn off the camera.”

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nydia Tisdale obstruction trial finally begins

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The long-awaited trial of Nydia Tisdale, the self-proclaimed citizen journalist charged with two counts of obstruction of an officer, began today (Nov. 27) in Dawson County Superior Court.

Tisdale was arrested by Dawson County Sheriff’s Captain Tony Wooten in August 2014 while filming a political candidate rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawson County. If convicted, she could face five years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Conley Greer

Tisdale claims she had the property owner’s permission to film the event. However, owners, Johnny and Kathy Burt, told Dawsonnews.com Tisdale misled them. They say they asked Wooten to tell her to stop filming or leave their property. Wooten says when she refused to stop filming, he arrested her. According to the arrest warrant, Tisdale elbowed Wooten in the face and kicked him in the shin.

Day one of the trial began with several motions by Defense Attorney Bruce Harvey and Assistant District Attorney Conley Greer. Senior Superior Court Judge Martha Christian said she would rule on motions prior to hearing opening statements.

Jury selection is expected to continue through late Tuesday (Nov. 28), followed by opening statements by both attorneys.

Defense Attorney Bruce Harvey

Fetch Your News owner Brian K. Pritchard attended the rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm on the day Tisdale was arrested. It was his audio recording and subsequent reporting of the incident that attracted state and national attention. Pritchard said he has been subpoenaed by the state and is expected to testify this week.

The arrest sparked outrage by the mainstream media and political activists who claim Tisdale’s First Amendment rights had been violated. Property rights advocates, on the other hand, say property owners have every right to evict someone from their property.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 


Three-year wait ends as Tisdale trial begins Monday

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Jury selection begins Monday in Dawson County Superior Court in the long-awaited trial of Nydia Tisdale, the self-proclaimed citizen journalist charged Aug. 2014 with trespassing and felony obstruction of an officer.

Tisdale was arrested by Dawson County Sheriff’s Captain Tony Wooten while filming a political candidate rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawson County. She could face five years in prison if convicted.

Fetch Your News owner Brian K. Pritchard attended the rally. It was his audio recording and subsequent reporting of the incident that attracted state and national attention. Pritchard has been subpoenaed by the state and is expected to testify next week.

Citizen journalist Nydia Tisdale faces five years in prison if convicted of obstruction of an officer.

Tisdale claims she had the property owner’s permission to film the event. But owners, Johnny and Kathy Burt, told Dawsonnews.com Tisdale misled them. They say they asked Wooten to tell her to stop filming or leave their property. Wooten says when she refused to stop filming, he arrested her.

According to the arrest warrant, Tisdale elbowed Wooten in the face and kicked him in the shin.

The arrest sparked outrage by the mainstream media and political activists who claim Tisdale’s First Amendment rights had been violated. Property rights advocates, on the other hand, say property owners have every right to evict someone from their property.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

Johnson Elected Dawson County Sheriff

News, Politics

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Jeff Johnson eked out a narrow victory over Tony Wooten in Tuesday’s General Primary runoff to be elected Dawson County Sheriff. Johnson will replace long time top cop Billy Carlisle who is resigning at the end of this year.

Johnson received 1,890 votes or 52.07 percent of the total votes cast to Wooten’s 1,740 votes or 47.93 percent.

Johnson a Major in the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, campagned on his many years of experience and by emphasizing the need to retain experienced personnel. He was able to reverse the results of the four-candidate General Primary election in which Wooten took 36 percent of the vote to his 27 percent.

In the race for tax commissioner, Nicole Stewart defeated Andi Henson Juliette with 1,889 votes or 53.8 percent of the total votes cast to Juliette’s 1,624 votes or 46.2 percent.

“I’m so humbled and blessed for everyone’s support,” Stewart said after the election. “I would like to thank everyone who helped with my campaign. I couldn’t have done it without each of you. I’m beyond excited to be your Tax Commissioner and look forward to continue serving my community.”

Runoff Races Front and Center in Dawson, Lumpkin today

News, Politics

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Georgians will head back to the polls today to decide key races, including several in Dawson and Lumpkin counties.

In Dawson County, voters will vote in a new sheriff and tax commissioner.
The sheriff candidates are veteran law enforcement officers Captain Tony Wooten and Major Jeff Johnson. Nicole Stewart and Andi Henson Juliette are competing for the tax commissioner job.

In Lumpkin County, voters will choose who they want to represent them on the county commission in District 2 and in the coroner’s office. Steve Shaw is the incumbent Dist. 2 commissioner and Bobby Mayfield is the challenger.

The candidates for coroner are Amanda Jones-Holbrooks and Jim Sheppard. Jones-Holbrooks was arrested earlier this month on a felony charge of first-degree forgery and is awaiting trial. Sheppard is a veteran law enforcement officer who will resign at the end of this year after 28 years of service.

Early Voting for Primary Runoff Races Ends Friday

News, Politics

DAWON COUNTY, Ga. — Early voting ends Friday for the July 26 general election primary runoffs.

The races in Forsyth County are between Tony Wooten and Jeff Johnson to decide who will replace retiring Sheriff Billy Carlisle and tax commissioner where two newcomers, Andi Henson Juliette and Nicole Stewart, are seeking to fill the vacancy left by Linda Townley who is also retiring this year.

Early voting started July 5 and the Dawson County Elections Office reports that the turnout has beem much heavier than expected. As of Friday afternoon, 1,569 people had cast their ballots

“That’s much greater than we anticipated, especially for a runoff election,” said Dawson County Director of Elections and Registration.
Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate wins a majority in a general primary.

Sheriff, Tax Commissioner Candidates Square Off

News, Politics

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — A standing-room-only crowd got one last chance to evaluate the candidates for Dawson County Sheriff and Tax Commissioner Tuesday in the Meeting Room of Fire Station No.2 on Dawsonville Highway.

Tax Commissioner candidates Nicole Stewart and Andi Henson-Juliette provided a tepid, respectful opening act for a slightly more combative performance by Sheriff candidates Tony Wooten and Jeff Johnson.

Henson-Juliette stressed her experience in handling multi-million dollar budgets while Stewart placed the emphasis on her customer service experience and community involvement.

Henson-Juliette is a former analyst for a Department of Defense contractor and the FBI and has managed budgets in excess of $50 million. She is a graduate of Dawson County High School and North Georgia College and State University.

“A lack of experience in the Tax Commissioner’s Office could be detrimental to taxpayers since 75 percent of the county’s budget comes from sales tax,” she said. “I’m the only candidate with experience managing budgets like that.”
Stewart said she has solid management experience. “I have effectively managed 8-10 people and have helped teach many small businesses how to manage a budget.”

She is a former banker with experience in the loan department. She is also an honors graduate of Dawson County High School and North Georgia College and State University who recently earned her Masters degree at Brenau University. Active in many community affairs, she was named Dawson County’s Outstanding Citizen in 2015.

The sheriff candidates did find some areas of agreement, for example no-knock warrants. Both agreed they were sometimes necessary for the safety of officers. They also agreed the county needs a strict policy to restrict high-speed chases.

But the tension began when Johnson implied that Wooten had made promises to deputies who publicly endorsed him in a half-page ad that ran in the local newspaper this week.

“I can say a lot of promises had to be made,” Johnson said. “They’re doing all they can to get their man elected.”

Candidates were given an opportunity to rebut their opponent’s comments and both men took full advantage.

Wooten bristled at Johnson’s remark, “They haven’t been promised a thing.”

When Johnson pointed out that he had more years of experience than Wooten, Wooten responded with “All the candidates in the race had experience. It’s not the number of years experience that makes you a leader. I’ve led five of the six divisions in the sheriff’s office.”

Early voting in both races will continue through Friday, July 22. Election day will be July 26.

Heavy Turnout Reported for Advanced Voting

News, Politics

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County voters returned to the polls this week for advanced, in-person voting in key runoff races for sheriff and tax commissioner.

Glenda M. Ferguson, Director of Elections and Registration, said, “The first two days have been great, really excellent. We had 202 on Tuesday and so far, we’ve had 139 today. That’s much better than I can ever remember for a runoff election.”

Tony Wooten and Jeff Johnson survived a four-candidate race in the May primary to advance to the runoff. Wooten won by a sizeable margin 1,527 to Johnson’s 1,157 but neither man garnered the 51 percent plus 1 vote necessary to avoid the runoff.

The candidates in the race for Tax Commissioner are Andi Hinson Juliette and Nicole Stewart. Juliette received 1,212 votes to Stewart’s 1,026 to advance to the runoff.

Ferguson would like to remind everyone that this is a Republican runoff therefore, only those who voted Republican, nonpartisan or didn’t vote at all are eligible to vote in this Election.

The schedule is  8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until July 22. Election Day is Tuesday, July 26 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

There is one voting location for Advance Voting, all precincts will vote at the Dawson County Board of Elections Office, 96 Academy Avenue in Dawsonville. On Election Day, voters are to go to their assigned voting precinct.

Thurmond, Gaines and Nix Post Victories Sheriff, Tax Commissioner Races Head for Runoff

News, Politics

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — Chairman-elect Billy Thurmond was taking a much deserved rest in Florida Wednesday after a landslide victory in last night’s General Primary election.

Thurmond received 3,041 votes to defeat his opponent Peter J. Hill by nearly a 3 to 1 margin.

“We worked real hard to pull this out and we’re very pleased with the results,” he said. Thurmond said his opponent called him to congratulate hi on running a clean race, something both candidates did.

When he returns on Saturday, Thurmond said he wants to get to work on a plan to improve employee retention. “We’ve lost a lot of people in the last five years. I know commissioners are looking at the pay scale not and that’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to working with them on a lot of things.”

Chris Gaines will be the other new face on the Board of Commissioners. Gaines, who will represent District 2, won a very close victory over Tim Davis with 2,015 votes to Davis’ 1,924.

District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix received 2,556 votes to beat Heather Hulsebus who had 1,495.

Elsewhere, there will be a runoff in the Sheriff and Tax Commissioner races.
Tony Wooten was the top vote getter Tuesday with 1,526 to Jeff Johnson’s 1,156.

The two will meet in the Jume 26 runoff.

Andi Henson Juliette led the way in the Tax Commissioner’s race with 1,212 votes. But Nicole Stewart was a close second with 1,025, enough to secure a place in the runoff.

Dawson Elections Chief Pleased with Early Turnout

News, Politics

DAWSONVILLE — With the May 24th General Primary election day fast approaching, Director of Elections and Registration Glenda Ferguson and her staff have been kept busy during the advanced voting period.

“So far, as of 9 a.m. Friday, 990 ballots have been cast for an average of about 100 per day,” Ferguson said. “I always want to see more, but I’ve been very pleased with the turnout so far. ”

Ferguson said in 2012, about 40 percent of the county’s 15,800 voters waited until election day to cast a ballot. If that percentage holds true this year, total turnout could approach 8,000.

Among the key races to be decided are Dawson County Sheriff where Tony Wooten, Jeff Johnson, Jeff Perry and Frank Sosebee are the candidates.

Voters must also decide who will fill the Ninth District Congressional seat currently held by Doug Collins. Collins is facing a serious challenge from former 10th District Congressman Paul Broun, Lanier Tea Party Patriots founder Mike Scupin, White County educator Roger Fitzpatrick and retired Army and National Guard Brigadier General Bernie Fontaine.

At the state level, District 51 State Senator Steve Gooch of Dahlonega is being challenged by John Williamson, co-founder of the Gilmer County Tea Party.

Locally, voters must fill two vacant seats on the Board of Commissioners after Chairman Mike Berg and District 2 Commissioner James Swafford decided not to run again.

Bill Thurmond and Peter J. Hill will compete for the Chairman’s seat and Chris Gaines and Tim Davis are the candidates in District 2. In District 4, incumbent Julie Nix has drawn a challenge from Heather Hulsebus, former Chairwoman of the Dawson County Republican Party.

The Tax Commissioner race features four candidates, Andi Henson Juliette, Karin McKee, Johnny Glass and Nicole Stewart.

No Democrats have qualified in any of the races, so the winner of the General Primary will take office in January.

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Tisdale Files Federal Lawsuit Against Dawson Deputies

News

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Who says you can’t fight City Hall? Fourteen months after Nydia Tisdale, a self-described citizen journalist, won a $200,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit against the City of Cumming, she’s at it again. This time Tisdale is suing three Dawson County deputies.

At a Tuesday press conference outside the Federal Courthouse in Gainesville, Tisdale announced her attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit claiming three Dawson County Sheriff’s deputies violated her constitutional rights when they arrested her at a political rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm two years ago.

The lawsuit alleges Capt. Tony Wooten, Cpl. Russell Smith and Cpl. Laura Bishop violated her First, Fourth and 14th Amendment rights when they arrested her.

But this time, Tisdale faces multiple felony and misdemeanor criminal trespass charges of her own stemming from the arrest. She was indicted on the charges in November and pleaded not guilty to all counts in March.

“I want to have my voice heard through my counsel, and through this lawsuit, and I will be vindicated,” Tisdale said.

Tisdale was arrested Aug. 23, 2014, after she refused to stop video taping a political rally in northwestern Dawson County and leave the property as the owner directed.

The claims allege Wooten violated Tisdale’s First Amendment when he shut down her filming of the event. “Second, we allege that Capt. Wooten and the two officers he called to the scene arrested Ms. Tisdale without probable cause in violation of her 4th Amendment rights,” said Attorney Brandon Waddell. “Third, we allege that the officers had no lawful basis to seize Ms. Tisdale’s camera.”

The suit also claims the charges brought against her were maliciously filed to silence her and that the officers seized the work product of a member of the press with no cause to believe the video related to the commission of a criminal offense.

Tisdale claims Wooten failed to identify himself, but Sheriff Billy Carlisle said Wooten was wearing a department-issued black polo shirt with the Dawson County Sheriff’s logo on the front left side, as well as his badge and a visible firearm.

Johnny Burt, the property owner maintains he instructed Wooten to have Tisdale stop recording and when she refused, Burt said he ordered Wooten to make her leave.

Advanced Voting Begins Monday in Dawson County

News, Politics

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — After months of political campaigns, voters will have a chance to vote for their favorite federal, state and local candidates when advanced voting begins Monday (May 2) in Dawson County in the May 24 General Primary.

Advance voting runs through May 20 (Mon. – Fri.). All advanced voting takes place at the Dawson County Board of Elections Office, 96 Academy Avenue, Dawsonville.

At stake at the federal level is the Ninth District Congressional seat where incumbent Republican Congressman Doug Collins has come under fire from conservatives for his support of President Obama’s Omnibus bill and former House Speaker John Boehner. The challengers are former 10th District Congressman Paul Broun, Lanier Tea Party Patriots founder Mike Scupin, White County educator Roger Fitzpatrick and retired Army and National Guard Brigadier General Bernie Fontaine.

At the state level, District 51 State Senator Steve Gooch of Dahlonega faces a strong challenge from John Williamson, co-founder of the Gilmer County Tea Party.

Locally, voters must fill two vacant seats on the Board of Commissioners after Chairman Mike Berg and District 2 Commissioner James Swafford decided not to run again. Bill Thurmond and Peter J. Hill will compete for the Chairman’s seat and Chris Gaines and Tim Davis are the candidates in District 2. In District 4, incumbent Julie Nix has drawn a challenge from Heather Hulsebus, former Chairwoman of the Dawson County Republican Party.

There is also a four-way race to replace retiring Sheriff Billy Carlisle and all four candidates have many years of experience in law enforcement. The candidates are Frank Sosebee, Jeff Johnson, Jeff Perry and Tony Wooten.

The Tax Commissioner race also features four candidates, Andi Henson Juliette, Karin McKee, Johnny Glass and Nicole Stewart.

No Democrats have qualified in any of the races, so the winner of the General Primary will take office in January.

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Tuesday is Deadline to Register for May Primary

News, Politics

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — Much is at stake in state and local elections May 24 but you can’t vote if you’re not registered and the last day to register is Tuesday, April 26.

One of the most important races is in the 9th District where incumbent U.S. Congressman Doug Collins of Gainesville has come under fire from conservatives for his support of President Obama’s Omnibus bill. His challengers include former 10th District Congressman Paul Broun, Lanier Tea Party Patriots founder Mike Scupin, White County educator Roger Fitzpatrick and retired Army and National Guard Brigadier General Bernie Fontaine.

State Senator Steve Gooch of Dahlonega is running for reelection in the 51st District and has drawn a challenger in John Williamson, co-founder of the Gilmer County Tea Party.

There are two vacant seats on the Board of Commissioners after Chairman Mike Berg and District 2 Commissioner James Swafford decided not to run again. Bill Thurmond and Peter J. Hill will compete for the Chairman’s seat and Chris Gaines and Tim Davis are the candidates in District 2. In District 4, incumbent Julie Nix has drawn a challenge from Heather Hulsebus, former Chairwoman of the Dawson County Republican Party.

There is also a four-way race to replace retiring Sheriff Billy Carlisle and all four candidates have many years of experience in law enforcement. The candidates are Frank Sosebee, Jeff Johnson, Jeff Perry and Tony Wooten.

The Tax Commissioner race also features four candidates, Andi Henson Juliette, Karin McKee, Johnny Glass and Nicole Stewart.

Advance voting begins Monday, May 2 and runs through May 20 (Mon. – Fri.). All advanced voting takes place at the Dawson County Board of Elections Office 96 Academy Avenue, Dawsonville.

No Democrats have qualified in any of the races, so the winner of the General Primary will take office in January.

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