Longs win elections in Catoosa

Longs win elections in Catoosa

November 9th, 2011 by Andy Johns in News

Kay Parrish congratulates incumbent mayor Lynn Long after the announcement of the election results Tuesday evening at the Constitution Hall in Fort Oglethorpe. Long defeated opponent Ken Mark.

Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

CATOOSA COUNTY COMMISSION

Jeff Long: 788

Judd Burkhart: 215

MAYOR

Lynn Long: 732

Ken Marks: 357

COUNCIL WARD 1

Johnny "Red" Smith: 655

Derek Rogers: 346

Steve Lanier: 75

COUNCIL WARD 4

Steve Brandon: 421

Charles Sharrock: 469

Harold Silcox: 187

Two elections in Catoosa County ran Long on Tuesday night.

Fort Oglethorpe voters let Lynn Long keep his job as mayor and selected 20-year city employee Jeff Long to serve on the County Commission.

Incumbent mayor Long, who is not related to the new commissioner, had more than twice the number of votes as former Catoosa County Commissioner Ken Marks.

"We just have worked hard," Long said. "There's things we want to get done and I think the citizens know it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

In the special election to replace Marks on the commission, Jeff Long soundly defeated former Fort Oglethorpe Mayor Judd Burkhart.

Long said voters know what they are getting with him because he has proven himself in his time at the city.

"People have seen how I work over the years at Fort Oglethorpe," he said.

Commissioner Long, the Fort Oglethorpe director of public works and recreation, has served the city for 20 years as a volunteer firefighter and in other capacities.

Burkhart, 64, who served as mayor for two terms and was on the council for six years, said voters clearly valued fresh ideas over his experience.

"I guess they just want some new blood," Burkhart said. "I guess that's what the people are looking for."

In the mayor's race, growth had become a major issue, with Marks favoring growth by annexation and development while Long favored redeveloping the city's core along LaFayette Road.

Lynn Long, a former Catoosa County Commission chairman, won a special election over a crowded, experienced field last year to replace the late former Mayor Ronnie Cobb.

Marks, a close friend of Cobb, said he considered running in the special election but said he needed time to be sure he was making the decision "with my head, not my heart."

In other Fort Oglethorpe races, incumbent Councilman Johnny "Red" Smith defeated insurance agent Derek Rogers and car salesman Steve Lanier for the Ward 1 post.

For the Ward 4 seat, incumbent Councilman Charles Sharrock narrowly avoided a runoff with plumbing business owner Steve Brandon. Former Councilman Harold Silcox was a distant third.