Former Lumpkin County sheriff’s deputy Stacy Jarrard unseated incumbent Sheriff Mark McClure on Tuesday in a decisive victory that could spell a major personnel shakeup at the 82-employee law enforcement agency.
In a race that many, including Jarrard, predicted would be close, Jarrard, 40, had 64 percent of the vote with 16 of 17 precincts reporting. It was the first run for elected office for Jarrard, a former sheriff’s investigator and DARE instructor who resigned from the sheriff’s office in 2006 and has worked as Dahlonega’s city marshal since.
“I feel like the community has spoken, and I feel it is ready for their sheriff’s office to be given back to them,” Jarrard said.
Jarrard has publicly criticized the senior command staff put in place by McClure, a former GBI agent who himself made changes to the administrative staff when he defeated three-term incumbent Sheriff Jimmy Berry in 2004.
Asked if there would be a shakeup in the senior staff when he takes office, Jarrard said, “It’s going to be extremely shaken up.”