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Friday marked another chapter in Franklin County’s political history with 38 recently elected candidates giving their oath of office to Chancellor Jeffrey F. Stewart in front of about 100 witnesses at the Courthouse.
The day’s activities also included Stewart accepting, Suzanne McDowell’s oath of office in a separate ceremony at Winchester City Hall to serve on the council.
The county’s 38-member group included a mayor, five department heads, a general sessions judge, 16 county commissioners, seven constables, four highway commissioners and four school board members who appeared before Stewart and pledged to serve Franklin County residents to the best of their ability.
County Mayor Richard Stewart, a Democrat, recaptured his position in the Aug. 7 county general election by recording 4,209 votes to defeat challengers Republican Bill Green (2,911) and Independent Burt Brown (1,042).
Incumbent Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller emerged victorious in his third bid for election on Aug. 7 and will continue to serve the county for another four years. Fuller, a Democrat, recorded 68.92 percent of the vote to defeat Republican challenger Mike Foster by a 5,655-2,543 margin.
The Aug. 7 election also led to having seven new faces on the County Commission.
They include Gene F. Snead Jr., Iris Rudder, Lisa Mason, Dave Van Buskirk, Dale Schultz, Helen Stapleton and Don Cofer.
The seven new members joined chairman Eddie Clark Friday and incumbent commissioners who either emerged victorious or were unchallenged for the positions, in giving their oaths of office. They included Johnny R. Hughes, Barbara Finney, David Eldridge Jr., Stanley Bean, Chuck Stines, Doug Goodman, Angie Fuller and Tony DeMatteo.
Others sworn into office Friday were:
• Incumbent Democrat Trustee Randy Kelly who was unchallenged on Aug. 7. He claimed 5,965 complementary votes.
• Incumbent Democrat General Sessions Judge Thomas C. Faris who was also unchallenged. He recorded 5,885 complementary votes.
• Circuit Court Clerk Robert Baggett, a Democrat, who recorded 5,907 complementary votes.
• Democrat County Clerk Phillip Custer, who was also unchallenged and received 6,388 complementary votes.
• Register of Deeds Lydia Curtis Johnson, a Democrat, who was also unchallenged and recorded 6,155 complementary votes.
• Christine Hopkins, School Board District 1, who was unchallenged and recorded 739 complementary votes.
• Lance Williams, School Board District 2, who was also unchallenged and 651 complementary votes.
• Independent Adam Tucker (336 votes) who edged Independent Lisa Rung (322) in the School Board District 5 race,
• Incumbent District 7 School Board challenger Gary Hanger, an independent, who defeated incumbent Independent Betty Jo Drummond by a 660- to 434-vote margin.
• Democrat Jim Hill (531 votes) who defeated Republican Ben Smith (361) in the District 1 constable race.
• Independent Troy Gamble (521 votes) defeated Democrat Kenneth Bishop (275) for District 3 constable.
• Democrat Rudy McConnell Sr. (511 votes) who defeated Independent James E. Coulson (336) for District 6 constable.
• Independent Jonathan Sells (746 votes) who defeated Democrat Don “Peanut” Coulson Jr. (246) for District 7 constable
• Republican Jim Wimley (643 votes) who defeated Democrat Mark A. Bassett (237) for District 8 constable.
• Republican Charles Keller who was unchallenged for District 4 constable.
• Democrat Sandy K. Gilliam who was unchallenged for District 5 constable.
• First Road Commissioner Joe David McBee, a Democrat who represents Districts 1 and 5. He was unchallenged and recorded 1,283 complementary votes
• Second Road Commissioner Chuck Tipps, a Democrat, who was unchallenged and received 1,527 for his District 2 and 7 seat.
• Third Road Commissioner Bobby Clark, a Democrat, who was challenged by Independent Joe Charles E. Green in the District 3 and 4 race. Clark emerged the victor by a 1,089- to 651-vote margin.
• Fourth Road Commissioner Wade Hill, a Democrat, (1,022 votes) who defeated Independent John Ballard (702).