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Billy Powell, challenger Eugene Moon face off in rematch of close District 2 Hall Commission race
Eugene Moon
Eugene Moon

Billy Powell

Age: 59

Occupation: Works at local affiliate of Sperry Van Ness/Hokayem Commercial Real Estate


Political experience: 12 years as Hall County Commission District 2 representative

Eugene Moon

Age: 48

Occupation: Marketing manager for Lincoln Electric Company in Gainesville


Political experience: Ran for county commission in 2012, chaired liberty counsel for Congressman Tom Graves

Key 2016 election dates

Monday: 9th District Town Hall Meeting, 6:30-8 p.m., Brenau Downtown Center auditorium, 301 Main St., Gainesville; broadcast live on WDUN AM550 and FM102.9, streamed on,, and the AccessWDUN smartphone app; free to public.

May 24: Georgia state primary (for congressional and local offices); early voting weekdays through May 20 and Saturday voting May 14; runoff date July 26

Oct. 11: Registration deadline for general election

Oct. 17: Early voting begins for general election

Nov. 8: Election Day

The Hall County Commission District 2 race between incumbent Billy Powell and challenger Eugene Moon is a rematch of a 2012 contest that saw Powell win by a little more than 200 votes.

“At the time, there was a huge anti-incumbent movement,” Powell said.

Two other sitting commissioners were beaten in 2012, but Powell was able to stave off his challenger.

The District 2 race is expected to be close again in 2016.

“It will be a tight race between the two of us,” Moon said.

But he likes his chances this time around.

“The same issues that were going on before are still going on,” Moon said, adding that he believes he has more support from the business community this time around. “I’m going to be a voice for existing businesses in this county. I am more for the advancement of the free market than I believe my opponent is.”

Powell is betting that his experience and institutional knowledge will carry the day for him.

“That’s what I hope people see in me,” he said.

Powell is in his third term, the longest-serving commissioner on the board today.

“I like helping people, and I like to serve my community,” he said.

This motivation extends beyond commission duties, Powell said, to include sitting on community boards over the years, such as the Gainesville-Hall County Development Authority, Keep Hall Beautiful and Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Powell said one of his biggest accomplishments is getting the county’s finances in line.

After cutting $11.5 million in spending in 2011 to balance the budget, Powell said the county general fund has grown by about $17 million while reducing debt by more than $20 million and lowering the property tax rate every year.

“To look at our financial situation four years later is something I’m quite proud of,” Powell said.

Moon, however, does not believe county government is running as well as possible.

“Government, first of all, should be fair and efficient,” he said.

For example, Moon said he wants to make sure employee benefit packages are good not just for county workers but the taxpayers, too.

And Moon questions the county’s move to open its own clinic and pharmacy last year for its workers. He believes the county is unfairly competing with the free market and private sector.

Moon also opposes impact fees on new development, which are then directed to local services like libraries.

Moon said these fees inhibit new business growth. Powell said he supports them as a way to fund services without raising property taxes.

Both candidates said they have certain projects in District 2 that they hope to tackle if elected this year.

Moon, for example, hopes to open a park in Murrayville for residents in that rural area.

He also wants to spearhead getting the proposed Sardis Road connector back on track.

And he wants to be a part of spurring new business growth in Oakwood, including bringing in a new broadband Internet service provider to help facilitate this.

“My kids are more worried about Internet connectivity than they are water,” Moon said.

Powell said he is committed to getting improvements made to Cool Springs Park.

And he wants to add a community center to the only district that doesn’t have one.

Finally, Powell wants to be a part of updating the county’s comprehensive plan to manage and guide growth over the next quarter century, including addressing vacant and abandoned properties in District 2.

“That is the triggering event that got me to run for office in the first place,” Powell said about his entry into politics in 2004.