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Stowe, Powell take Hall commission posts
Newcomer stuns incumbent Bell in Republican primary
Jeff Stowe hugs his wife, Jennifer, after he won the Hall County Board of Commissioners District 4 race Tuesday. - photo by Tom Reed

We the People voting info, election results

Statewide results from Ga. Secretary of State Elections website 

Hall County Board of Commissioners
Post 2, Republican
Eugene Moon 48.4%
Billy Powell (I) 51.6%

Post 4, Republican
Ashley Bell (I) 42.4%
Jeff Stowe 57.6%

What’s next: Winners face no Democratic foes in November and take office in January.

District 2
Billy Powell
Age: 55
Occupation: Commercial real estate
Political Experience: First elected in 2004, re-elected in 2008, now serving eighth year as Hall County commissioner for District 2 and current vice chairman. Achieved Association County Commissioners of Georgia certification in 2011.
Education: Gainesville High School, 1975; Southern Tech, 1978, degree in industrial engineering and associate degree in management.
Family information: Wife Helen of 35 years, daughters Carolyn and Molly, son Will.
District history: We have owned our home and have lived in the district for almost 20 years. All three of my children graduated from Hall County public schools. Past president of the Timber Walk Home Owners Association, Members of Gainesville First United Church where I chaired the golf tournament fundraiser for the church’s annual Great Day of Service, exceeding the financial goal by 50 percent. High school wrestling official with All South Wrestling Official Association. Served for the past three years holding the chains for Hall County High School football team.

District 4
Jeffrey R. Stowe
Age: 44
Occupation: Small business owner, Home Electronics Rent To Own, 586 W. End Ave., Gainesville
Political experience: None
Education: BSBA Western Carolina University, Corporate Finance (Class of 1989); Gainesville High School (Class of 1985)
Family: Spouse, Jennifer Hudgins Stowe (GHS Class of 1989); Children: Mary Kathryn Stowe, Stephen Taylor Stowe GHS (Class of 2010), Ally Ashford Roberts GHS (Class of 2016) and Bernard Sutter Roberts GHS Class of (2017). Parents, James Ronald and Carol Stowe. In-Laws: Albert Hudgins GHS (Class of 1965) and Gwen Hudgins.
District history: Gainesville Jaycees 1989-1999, director of the year 1991-1992, 1992-1993, Presidential Award of Honor 1994-1995, 1998-1999, Keyman Award 1993-1994, 1997-1998; United Way Campaign Cabinet, Retail Chair 1992-1993, Team Leader 1995-1996; American Red Cross, Board Member 1994-1999, 2004-2007, Chairman of Board in 1996-1997 and again 2005-2006; Leadership Hall County 1998-1999; Chairman American Heart Walk 2000; Marketing Committee Boys & Girls Club 2000- 2007; Gainesville Elks Club 2004 – present; Usher & Youth Leader First United Methodist Church Gainesville; Gainesville Kiwanis Club 2004 – 2010; Gainesville Athletic Board; Member 2005; Present Chairman of Board 2007 – 2011. Participated in numerous fundraising events for the Boy Scouts of America, Brenau University, Challenge Child and Friends, Gainesville Park & Rec, and the Hall County Chamber of Commerce

Political newcomer Jeff Stowe easily beat incumbent commissioner Ashley Bell by double-digit percentage points in Tuesday's Republican primary to take the District 4 seat on the Hall Board of Commissioners.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Billy Powell defeated Eugene Moon, a Hall County businessman and tea party favorite, by a narrow margin to retain his District 2 seat.

The District 4 results were surprising. In fundraising, Bell raised nearly $44,000 in campaign contributions in 2012, according to the latest available numbers. That was four times that of Stowe.

Still, Stowe was able to strike a chord with voters that may have come down to party loyalty.

The incumbent Bell, who first won as a Democrat in 2008, switched party affiliations at the end of 2010.

Even Stowe admitted he didn’t expect to win by so much.

“Surprised is an understatement,” he said of his reaction to the results. “I was absolutely shocked.”

Stowe anticipated the race to come down to a couple hundred votes rather than the 16-percentage-point smackdown.

With no Democratic candidates in the race, Stowe take the seat when Bell’s term ends in January.

Bell promised to offer his assistance in the transition.

Once in office, Stowe said his first goal will be to build a relationship with the members of the county commission, then work to mend relationships with the county’s municipal governments.

In the District 2 race, Powell beat Moon by about 3 percentage points, making him the only incumbent commissioner to fare so well in this primary.

“Even with the narrow margin, it’s still an honor and a humbling experience to be re-elected,” Powell said.

Powell ran on his experience and accomplishments in bringing parks to his district and helping facilitate the sale of the county’s old jail to the city of Gainesville.

Powell said that experience would provide stability for the county moving ahead, which is good for attracting business.

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