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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Holding his 8-year-old daughter Molly, left, Mayor Nick Millwood hugs his wife Lori, center, after election results were read, giving him the victory, inside the Catoosa County Freedom Center on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 in Ringgold, Ga.

This story was updated Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at 10:45 a.m. with information about the results from the Summerville City council election.

RINGGOLD, Ga. — In a mayoral race that was messy with small-town politics at times, Ringgold Mayor Nick Millwood came out on top Tuesday night to win his second term.

Millwood got 63.8% of the vote, beating Tony Hullender with 27% and Paul Lee with 8.7%.

After he heard the results, Millwood said he was shocked that he got that high a share of the votes.

"When I heard the ... number, it took time for it to really sink in because I was surprised," he said. "Then I felt a sense of relief. Then a sense of honor and accomplishment that the people wanted me to continue to serve."

Lee, long a vocal critic of Millwood, refused to shake Millwood's hand after the results.

"I wanted to make a change, but clearly the citizens didn't want that change," Lee said. "It was a good race. Tomorrow I'll wake up, and I'll still be Paul Lee."

Hullender could not be reached for comment.

Millwood was first elected mayor in 2015 after a complicated, and at times controversial, election.

In the 2015 race, Lee was disqualified from running after it was determined his house was outside city limits, but not before he called Catoosa County court a "kangaroo court" and Millwood a "clown competitor."

Then, on the Nov. 3 election date, none of the three candidates — Hullender, Millwood and Jerry Payne — received more than 50% of the vote. Under the city's charter, if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff election. Hullender finished with 38.3% of the vote, Millwood had 37.5% and Payne had 24%.

Millwood would end up winning in the runoff election, taking over for former Ringgold mayor Joe Barger, who was mayor for 40 years before stepping down in 2015 at age 85.

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Millwood wins second term as Ringgold, Georgia mayor

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In Dalton, Georgia, former mayor David Pennington beat incumbent Dennis Mock by a mere 11 votes, 1,400 to 1,389.

Pennington could not be reached late Tuesday, but Mock said he was disappointed in the results and the low voter turnout. Only 19.7 percent of Dalton's 16,288 registered voters cast a ballot, according to elections officials.

"Second place is never the best in an election," Mock said. "I wish David the best."

Whitfield County Election Supervisor Mary Hammontree said there won't be a runoff in the mayoral race, but "a recount can be made at the request of the losing candidate."

Mock said he is holding out to see the final results before deciding if he wants to call for a recount.

Pennington previously was elected mayor of Dalton in 2008. In 2011, voters gave him a strong victory over political newcomer Joel Goldberg in the mayoral race with 61 percent of the vote.

During his first term, Pennington cut city taxes more than 20% and cut the city budget significantly. He also has pushed to refurbish the city's historical areas and build green spaces in an attempt to attract young professionals.

In 2014, Pennington took his anti-tax message statewide when he championed an end to Georgia's income tax as part of a campaign to unseat Nathan Deal in the Republican primary for the governor's race.

Deal went on to win the primary with more than 72% of the vote.

When Pennington stepped down as mayor in 2014 to run for governor, Dalton was without a mayor for months.

Mock defeated Miller Jones in November 2014 by 2,517 votes to 1,533 votes in the special election to fill the final 14 months of Pennington's unexpired term. Mock ran unopposed in 2015 for a full term.

Before that, Mock ran in 2010 for the District 4 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, losing by 177 votes — less than 5 percent — to Roger Williams. He ran again in 2012 but lost to Rep. Bruce Broadrick.

Elsewhere in North Georgia, incumbent Fort Oglethorpe Mayor Earl Gray beat Louis Hamm with 71% of the vote.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

 

NORTH GEORGIA ELECTION RESULTS

 

CATOOSA COUNTY

Ringgold

Mayor

Tony Hullender 172

Paul Lee 55

Nick Millwood 405

City council (Three seats up for election)

Sara Clark 366

Jake Haynes 299

Charlie Lamar 233

Donald Pangle 144

Ray Reavely 145

Rhonda Swaney 330

 

Fort Oglethorpe

Mayor

Earl Gray 523

Louis Hamm 215

City council (Two seats up for election)

Melissa Jacks 312

Rhonda James 432

Derek Rogers 668

Also on the ballot: Catoosa County residents voted on a proposal to lower the Catoosa County School District's ad valorem taxes for residents who are 65 and older whose income does not exceed $30,000 a year. The proposal passed with 2,271 votes for and 164 votes against. Senior citizens who meet the criteria will see a $40,000 reduction in the assessed value of their homes, which will reduce or eliminate their school property taxes.

 

CHATTOOGA COUNTY

Summerville 

City council (Three seats up for election)

Council Seat 3

Kristy Lowe Dennis 135

Lorraine Roberts 29

Council Seat 4

Joe Money, Jr. 145

Council Seat 5

Zachary Martin 150

 

DADE COUNTY

Trenton

Mayor

Joseph Alex Case 226

Street Commissioner

Monda Wooten 202

Fire and Utilities commissioner

Careyee Bell 74

Cody Doyle 66

Lucretia Houts 190

 

GORDON COUNTY

Calhoun

Mayor

James Palmer 913

City council (Two seats are up for election)

Jackie Palazzolo 830

Al Edwards 771

Judy Peterson 328

School board (Two seats are up for election)

Eddie Reeves 869

Becky Gilbert George 672

Don Hood 393

 

Resaca

Mayor

Mitch Reed 23

Nathan Wyatt 76

Town council (Two seats are up for election)

Todd Rutledge 76

Ben Niles 57

Christopher Cunningham 31

 

Plainville

Mayor

James Miller 32

Taylor Payne 13

City council (Two seats are up for election)

Ray Black 40

Clark Bunch 42

 

Fairmount

Mayor

Steve Brannon 127

Harry Pierce 62

City council (Two seats are up for election)

John Holsomback 148

Billy Mauldin 150

 

WALKER COUNTY

Chickamauga

Mayor

Chester Ray Crowder 318

City council (Two seats up for election)

Daymon Garrett 260

Lee Miller 263

James D. Powell 92

School board (Three seats up for election)

David Pender Askew 284

Grant Parrish 283

Cindy Solomon Roberts 302

Also on the ballot: The city of Chickamauga asked residents whether or not the city should be allowed to start issuing permits and licenses to businesses that would be able to sell liquor by the drink on Sundays. The measure passed with 242 yes votes and 111 no votes.

 

Rossville

Mayor

Gary Anderson 175

Teddy Harris 199

City council (Two seats up for election)

Hal Gray 231

Michael Hicks 202

Anthony Robinson 70

Larry Rose 135

Also on the ballot: Rossville voters were asked to vote on whether or not businesses should be allowed to sell liquor and alcohol on Sundays, and more specifically during the hours of 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Rossville called it the "Sunday Brunch Beverage Sales" measure on the official ballot. Voters passed the sales measure with 268 yes votes and 107 no votes. They passed the hours measure with 262 yes votes and 117 no votes.

 

WHITFIELD COUNTY

Dalton

Mayor

Dennis Mock 1,389

David Pennington 1,400

City council (Two seats up for election)

Derek Waugh 2,200

Tyree Goodlett 2,157

Board of Education (Three seats up for election)

Jody McClurg 2,326

John "Tulley" Johnson 2,211

Pablo Perez 749

Sam Sanders 1,681

 

Varnell

City council (Three seats up for election)

David Owens 78

Sandy Pangle 148

Clyde Williams 186

Richard Lowe 118

Bob Roche 104

 

Cohutta

Town council (Two seats up for election)

Nick Conner 55

J. Shane Kornberg 88

Andy Lopez 85

Shelia Rose 63

All results are unofficial until certified, and provisional ballots are still outstanding in some races.

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