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franklin county times

County elects new commission

By Staff
Jonathan Willis
Franklin County will have a new county commission next January.
Voters went to the polls Tuesday and elected three new Democratic nominees for November's general election.
Political newcomer Stratt Byars defeated two-term commissioner Jackie Bradford 2,632 votes to 941 in the District 1 race.
In District 2, Howard Hutcheson, of Phil Campbell, narrowly defeated Commissioner Gene Graham 1,849 to 1,707.
Belgreen's Greg Smith defeated Commissioner Rayburn Massey 1,969 to 1,574.
Don Hastings of Red Bay beat Commissioner Norris Lewey in the June primary.
"The people voted that they want change," Massey said.
"We need to support the voice of the people and get behind our newly elected officials."
Graham said the recent use of bio-solids in the county became a major issue, although the county has no authority to stop it.
"I think they held the bio-solids against us," Graham said. "There was no way we could head it off, but maybe these new commissioners will find a way."
Hutcheson said he felt county voters were just ready for a change.
"We will do what we can we when get in there," he said.
Smith won all but three boxes in his race and said he hopes to help bring more jobs to the county in the future.
"I just want to try to pick Franklin County up and get some jobs in our area that will help the community," he said.
"It's a lot of hard work going door-to-door and I tried to make it clean the whole time."
Massey said the race was much different than when he ran four years ago.
"When I looked at the vote it was kind of ironic," he said.
"Four years ago I carried all but three boxes and in the run-off this year I only won three boxes. I think it was kind of that 'vote 'em all out syndrome.'
"I do want to ask all of my supporters to get behind Greg and support him all they can."
Byars, who narrowly avoided the run-off in June, said he was surprised to win by such a wide margin, but thanked his family and friends for helping make the difference.
"Jackie (Bradford) has a really good track record of public service with the city (of Russellville) and as a commissioner," he said.
"I hope he will stay in public service because he has done a lot for the people here."
Byars will face Republican Jack Harris in November. Don Hastings will face Scottie Raper in the District 4 general election.
Smith and Hutcheson face no opposition in November.