2014-03-12 / Front Page

Challengers will run in four races

By Elizabeth Billips

Burke County voters have decisions to make.

Last week’s qualifying period culminated with contests for two Board of Education seats, a county commission post and the Solicitor-General job.

In the latter race, Midville lawyer Matthew Franklin will face Christopher Dube, who is the attorney for the cities of Waynesboro, Girard and Sardis. Since both candidates are running on the Democratic ticket, the winner will be decided by the May 20 Primary Election.

The seat, which expires at the year’s end, has been held by Waynesboro attorney Jackson Cox for 13 years; however Cox announced in early February that he would not qualify because he was seeking the State Court judgeship left vacant by the death of the Hon. Jerry Daniel.

Although Cox could have reconsidered last week when rumors began churning that Senator Jesse Stone also wanted that judgeship, Cox stuck to his decision. (See story, page 1)

“Even if I’m not appointed to the judgeship, I will run for it in the next election,” he said in an interview just before qualifying opened. “Because I cannot commit to another four years as Solicitor-General, I do not believe it would be right for me to requalify.”

When questioned again by The True Citizen just before qualifying closed Friday, Cox confirmed that Sen. Stone, with whom he shares a law office, had still not told him whether or not he planned to seek the State Court bench.

Like most of Burke County, Cox did not learn Stone was, in fact, applying for the judgeship until he read a post the senator made on his Facebook page around 8:30 p.m. Friday.

While Cox said he would have preferred Stone tell him directly, he also said the senator’s position did not ultimately affect his.

“I’m well qualified to hit the ground running … I’ve spent more than two-thousand hours in State Court,” Cox said, noting that no attorney except State Court public defender Bill Fleming rivals his experience. “I understand the operations of State Court and the accountability courts and still feel that I’m uniquely qualified to continue them.”

In addition to choosing a new State Court solicitor, Burke County voters will decide two BOE races.

While long-term member Johnny Jenkins will see no opposition for his expiring post, incumbents Ruby Saxon Myles and Larry Preston have challenges on their hands.

In the District 1 race, Myles will face former BOE member Willie Albert Jordan, who lost the seat in 2010 in a narrow 627-566 vote.

District 2 incumbent Larry Preston, who is finishing out his first term, has been challenged by retired educator Jackie Payton.

The BOE races are non-partisan and will be settled May 20, as will the single party-affiliated race for County Commission, which did not attract any takers on the Democratic ticket.

Republican District 4 incumbent Allen DeLaigle is up against Republican challenger Leroy Bell Jr., former commander of American Legion Post 120.

Early voting begins April 28. Which races a resident may vote in depends not only on where they live but whether they choose a Republican or Democratic ballot.


District 1
Ruby Saxon Myles (I)
Willie Albert Jordan
Larry D. Preston (I)
Jackie Payton
Allen DeLaigle – R (I)
Leroy Bell Jr. - R
Matthew Wade Franklin – D
Christopher Dube - D
Johnny Jenkins- BOE District 5
Terri Lodge Kelly – Commission
District 2

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