The race for Jackson County Board of Commissioners chairman was too close to call Tuesday and will be decided in an Aug. 5 runoff.
Hunter Bicknell, a West Jackson resident and water authority chairman, received 2,393 votes, or 42 percent. Ron Johnson, a Hoschton resident and former Sugar Hill city council member, received 1,757 votes, or 30 percent.
“I want to relax and enjoy the fact that we came in first tonight (Tuesday),” Bicknell said. “We’ll get back to work tomorrow morning.”
Johnson also said, “Well, we’re going to hit the ground running tomorrow.”
Former commission member Tony Beatty received 1,602 votes, or 28 percent, and will not participate in the runoff.
“It’s a big surprise,” Beatty said of the results. “I had the lead at one time. We’re going to look at the candidates over the next couple of days and decide which one to support.”
Beatty also is a former member of the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority. He is a Jackson County native and lives in East Jackson.
Bicknell, aside from being the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority chairman appointed by the Board of Commissioners, is on the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council. He has lived in West Jackson for nine years.
Johnson is a Hoschton resident who has lived in Jackson County three years.
Staff writer Claire Miller contributed to this report.