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Voters have spoken

Hamilton, Welborn, Hester, Massey, Miller, Wallace celebrate wins in election bids in Franklin County


After months of campaigning – of sharing vision and goals, of knocking doors and attending community events, of spending nearly every waking hour in pursuit of a goal – for candidates for office in Franklin County, it all came down to what happened at the polls Nov. 8. The votes are in, and the people have spoken.

Greg Hamilton will take the reins as superintendent of the Franklin County Board of Education. He claimed 3,215 votes, 36 percent, to opponents Bart Moss’ 2,779 votes (31 percent) and Donald Borden’s 2,842 votes (32 percent).

“It’s the result of hard work. We worked so extremely hard and so tirelessly for a good cause – the kids of this county,” Hamilton said. “I just thank the voters from the bottom of my heart for believing in me enough as an independent candidate.”

One position on the school board was up for a vote, and Terry Welborn will keep his seat, defeating challenger Curtis Baker. Welborn received 1,122 votes to Baker’s 529 votes.

For the Franklin County Commission, Chris Wallace, Jason Miller, Rayburn Massey and David Hester were elected to Districts 1-4 respectively.

Incumbent Wallace, received 6,827 votes to opponent Chris Fretwell’s 4,391 votes.

Miller, who has been serving as interim commissioner for the past couple of months following the death of Wyman Pounders, achieved 6,774 votes to Terry Bolton’s 4,585 votes. “I feel great,” Miller said. “I just want to thank God for the help and opportunity to serve the people of Franklin County.” Miller also thanked his family and the voters. “I’m going to do the job to the best of my ability.”

Massey, who was running for re-election, received 6,706 votes to Justin Boyles’ 4,649 votes.

In Hester’s case, he ultimately claimed 7,567 votes to Norris Lewey’s 3,693.

A unique feature on this year’s ballot was for those who had the opportunity to vote for or against a volunteer fire department fee. Nine districts held votes for the fee – East Franklin, Blue Springs, Tharptown, Gravel Hill, Frankfort, Hodges, Burnout, Vina and Pleasant Site. Each district received majority yes votes.

Probate Judge Barry Moore said although Belgreen and Electric Warehouse voting machines experienced some problems early, Franklin County posted an unprecedented voter turnout. “We were glad to see all these people come out and vote.”

Of course, it was no surprise to anyone that Donald Trump won the presidential race in Franklin County.