Hall County Sees Three Republicans Qualify For Commission Chair

Incumbent Hall County Commission Chairman Richard Higgins has drawn two challengers in the Republican primary this May. Hall County family law attorney Judy Sartain announced her intent to run in June of last year and issued the following presser when she qualified earlier this week:

(Gainesville)-Republican attorney Judy Sartain formally qualified this week to run for Chairman of the Hall County Boards of Commissioners against incumbent Richard Higgins.

The Republican Primary will be held May 19th with the General Election on November 3rd.

“Taxpayers have suffered tax increase after tax increase because of a lack of vision by the County,” said Sartain. “We need new leadership and a new plan for our county to bring an end to the unnecessary tax increases.”

Sartain has practiced mainly in the North Georgia area, and has primarily focused on family law, including divorce, custody and adoption law.   She has nearly 25 years of legal experience and has finalized over 700 adoptions.

Sartain volunteers her time to serve the Hall County community. She is a member of the Concord Baptist Church where she has worked as a Children’s Choir Director, Sunday school teacher and leader for teen ministries. Sartain is actively involved in the Hall County Republican Party, and is a board member for Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Sartain has lived in Georgia for over 35 years and has been a resident of Hall County for 25 years. She is a graduate of John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. She and her husband, Mike, live in Gainesville.

The office for Chairman of the Hall County Board of Commissioners has been held by Richard Higgins since 2016.

Bobby Banks also qualified on Friday to challenge Higgins. Banks was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp as a member of the Georgians First commission.

Higgins is seeking re-election as commission chair. He defeated then-incumbent Richard Mecum in the 2016 Republican primary.

Hall County has a history of having a tight-knit, influential political community–Hall County was the home of former Governor Nathan Deal, former Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, and current Congressman Doug Collins (GA-09), but new Hall County residents have moved in over the past few years as the Atlanta metropolitan area has grown.

I briefly resided in Hall County, so I don’t have a clear picture of the political ins-and-outs with the current makeup of the GOP and that picture is about 2 years old now. However, it sounds like taxes will be a talking point as property values continue to appreciate (a good thing) as the county continues to grow, but the property tax digest has increased as well over the last few years.

For those who understand talking points in a Republican primary, nothing can ruin a re-election campaign more quickly than being tagged as someone who allows their constituents’ taxes to go up–especially if those constituents are retirees on fixed incomes.

This will be an interesting race to watch unfold.

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