MORE ELECTION COVERAGE
Charles Sharrock just wasn't meant to replace Charles Sharrock.
He always considered himself an underdog, he now says. But he tried anyway. He didn't care that the rest of the city council fired him in 2012 amid sexual harassment allegations.
He ran, he says, because the people deserved a chance to bring him back. He did it for the good of the city. He figured he was going to lose.
He was right.
The voters of Fort Oglethorpe elected Derek Rogers over Sharrock on Tuesday night. The race wasn't close: 691-193.
"I think that's the largest margin of defeat we've had since I've been around," said City Manager Ron Goulart, who has followed Fort Oglethorpe politics for 34 years. "That is a whoopin.'"
Sharrock was not the only North Georgia politician attempting to replace himself. In Dade County, former Commissioner Robert Goff tried to return to the seat he left in March when he ran unsuccessfully against Georgia Rep. John Deffenbaugh in the Republican primary.
On Tuesday night, Goff did better than Sharrock - but not as well as he wanted. He earned about 43 percent of the vote, the most out of the three candidates in the race. But because he didn't reach the minimum 50 percent, he did not win the election.
Instead, on Dec. 2, he will be in a runoff against Rick Breeden, the man who joined the council as Goff's temporary replacement.
"I've been running since March," Goff said Tuesday night, "so one more run isn't going to hurt."
Elsewhere in the region, 53 percent of Walker County voters said no to letting businesses sell liquor by the drink on Sundays. In Whitfield County, facing the same issue, the same portion of people, 53 percent, said yes to such sales.
In Dalton, Dennis Mock edged Miller Jones III, with 61 percent of votes in the mayoral race. The winner replaces David Pennington, who left the seat to unsuccessfully challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the Republican primary.
In Fort Oglethorpe, Rogers said he was confident he would defeat Sharrock, the man he temporarily replaced in April. People around town told Rogers how much they liked him when he knocked on their doors this fall.
After the polls closed at 7 p.m., Rogers stood outside City Hall, in the cold, waiting with a group of supporters.
He watched through a window as elections staffers inside the City Council room a wrote the final figures on a whiteboard.
"The citizens have seen the direction we're moving in the city," he said after realizing he won. "They like it."
When Sharrock saw the results Tuesday night, he grabbed his cellphone, started talking and walked to the parking lot. The council fired him in 2012 after three female city employees complained that he sexually harassed them.
Sharrock has maintained his innocence ever since. He said others on the council didn't like his politics, so they framed him. He said that weighed over him Tuesday.
"It's hard to win a campaign when you're having to fight everybody," he said. "I am not the loser in the thing. The citizens are the losers. ... Now they just added another good ol' boy to their buddy system. These citizens don't really and truly understand what they've got going on in their city. This bunch is milking the taxpayers tremendously down here. There's something bad wrong down in this city."
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at email@example.com or at 423-757-6476.
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