Columbia County's longest-serving commissioner will continue her reign for another four years.
Columbia County Commissioner Diane Ford looks over a printout of the election results with Frank Lindley at the Evans Government Complex. Ms. Ford won another term on the commission.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
With all votes counted except absentee ballots, incumbent District 3 Commissioner Diane Ford, 51, successfully defended her seat against political newcomer Greg Kernaghan, 34, by a slim margin.
Mrs. Ford garnered 3,303 votes, for 53 percent, to Mr. Kernaghan's 2,977, giving him 47 percent.
Mrs. Ford first won the commission seat in 1993. She campaigned heavily on her experience, often saying she didn't need any "on-the-job training."
"This has humbled me," she said. "The county has changed so much with a lot of young voters who aren't aware of my 12 years of service."
Mr. Kernaghan offered Mrs. Ford a congratulatory hug. Both said they were proud of their campaigns and that they never resorted to mudslinging.
"I told Greg that if he wants to get his feet wet in politics to come see me and we'll get him on a committee," Mrs. Ford said.
Mr. Kernaghan plans to take her up on the offer. He said he also would consider another run for the commission in four years.
"You'll see me again," he said.
The District 3 race was the only contested seat on the county commission. There were no Democratic challengers, and no candidates came forward to run against Commissioners Tom Mercer and Lee Anderson.
Voters also approved extending Columbia County's 1-cent sales tax for the next five years.
The binding referendum passed 15,870 to 7,203, with 44 of 45 precincts reporting.
The tax extension will collect no more than $100 million during the next five years with 31 percent going to transportation projects, 21 percent for recreation and 12 percent for county facilities.
Reach Donnie Fetter at 868-1222, ext. 109, or email@example.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.