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Flowery Branch incumbents win re-election
Miller, Tara Richards, Fred Richards hold off challengers
Mike Miller
Incumbent Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller celebrates with family and supporters after receiving winning election results Tuesday at Calliope Sweets. Miller beat Shanon Lutz by a 360-119 vote. - photo by JOSHUA L. JONES

Shanon Lutz 119, 25 percent
Mike Miller 360, 75 percent

City Council, Post 3
Ed Edwards 97, 22 percent
Fred Richards 353, 78 percent

City Council, Post 5
Tara Richards 322, 68 percent
Chris Fetterman 152, 32 percent

Flowery Branch incumbent Mayor Mike Miller and City Council members Tara Richards and Fred Richards , not related, won their re-election bids in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Miller earned 360 votes, or 75 percent, to beat challenger Shanon Lutz, who had 119.

In the City Council Post 3 race, Fred Richards earned 353 votes to Ed Edwards’ 97.

In the Post 5 race, Tara Richards earned 322 votes to 152 for challenger and former councilman Chris Fetterman.

“For the two years that we’ve (been) working together as a council, we’ve gotten the work done for the citizens, and they spoke loud and clear that they like the direction we’re going,” Miller said. “And we’re going to keep it going for four more years.

Miller has been in office since 2009 as mayor, mayor pro tem and interim mayor. 

“I do want to thank my opponent for running a clean race,” Miller said. 

Lutz said it was a great race, and called to congratulate Miller on the win.

“I enjoyed meeting new people, and getting my ideas out there and talking with the people about what they wanted,” she said.

As for future political aspirations, Lutz said, “I think now what I’ll focus on is my husband’s election.”

Lutz is married to Hall County Commissioner Craig Lutz, who has announced his intention to run for the Public Service Commission in 2014.

“I am excited to see what happens in Flowery Branch in the future,” Shanon said. 

Tara Richards maintained her Council Post 5, with 68 percent of the vote against challenger Chris Fetterman. She has served on the council for three years.

“I am honored to serve again,” Tara Richards said. “We have so many great things happening in this city; we’re right at the edge. I just want to help keep moving them forward.”

Tara Richards also tipped her hat to the business community.

“We’ve been really blessed by the business community here,” she said. 

Fetterman said he congratulated Tara Richards through a text message.

“I really appreciate the turnout in an off election year,” said Fetterman. “The people of Flowery Branch made their vote, and made their decision.”

Fetterman said he is “looking ahead to the future,” and acknowledged he is considering his next political opportunities. 

Incumbent Fred Richards also maintained his seat on the council with 78 percent of the vote against political newcomer Ed Edwards. This will be Fred Richards’ second term on council. 

Edwards said he remains interested in the future of the city he plans to always call home.

“I’ve had good encounters with the people so far,” said Edwards. “I’m really, really interested in being involved in what’s happening here,” including the ongoing redevelopment of Old Town. 

There were 3,846 registered voters in this year’s election; 1,803 votes were cast with 194 people voting early.

Candidates’ new terms will begin in December.