Election brings new-look Dahlonega city council
After tireless months of campaigning and several public forums, the 13 candidates running for city office sat nervously awaiting the final results of the general and special elections at the Lumpkin County Elections Office on Tuesday evening as they prepared to get a first look at the new face of the Dahlonega city council.
In the race for mayor, former councilman Sam Norton landed 73.05 percent of the votes to win in a landslide victory. Norton received 675 of the 924 total votes.
Local businessman Rajpal Sagoo came in second with 16.34 percent of the vote, garnering 151 total votes, while Michael Clemons came in at third with 10.39 percent of the vote with 96.
"I am very encouraged by the election and participation citywide," said Norton after the final results came out. "We had some good candidates. We have some challenges ahead of us, but we also have a lot of good opportunities. I look forward to serving."
Incumbent Roman Gaddis won a tightly contested race against Johnny Ariemma to hold on to his position on the city council. Gaddis received 54.81 percent of the total votes, landing 479 of the 874 votes for Post 1. Ariemma garnered 44.62 percent of the vote, earning 390 votes.
The race for Post 2 guaranteed that a female candidate would win a council position for the first time in several election cycles with Helen Hardman running against Penny Sharp for the spot vacated by Norton in his bid for mayor.
Hardman won the Post 2 race with 66.48 percent of the vote, receiving 585 of the 880 votes. Sharp earned 32.95 percent of the vote, landing 290 votes.
Incumbent Mitch Ridley won reelection in the Post 3 election in a close three-way race with Wesley Barron and Dewey Moye. Ridley received 45.07 percent of the vote, garnering 402 of the 892 votes.
Moye came in second with 39.35 percent of the vote, earning 351 votes, while Barron came in third with 15.47 percent of the vote with 138.
The Post 5 race between JoAnne Taylor, Alan Roach and Noah Steinberg seated the second female candidate on the Dahlonega city council as Taylor won with 46.42 percent of the vote, receiving 422 of the 909 total votes.
Steinberg came in second with 29.04 percent of the total vote, receiving 264 votes, while Roach came in third with 24.31 percent of the total vote with 221.
The newly elected mayor and city council members saw 36.43 percent of the 2,575 registered voters in Dahlonega come out to vote in the general and special elections with 938 total ballots cast.