Half of Columbia County residents are cheering that current Columbia County Commissioner Doug Duncan is the county’s next chairman and the other half is upset that their “last hope,” former EMA Director Pam Tucker, has been defeated.
Over the past several weeks, many residents believed if Duncan managed to get his base to return to the polls and he won this week’s runoff and beat Tucker, there wouldn’t be much change in the current politics of Columbia County.
After all, Duncan has a solid working relationship with current commissioners Trey Allen and Gary Richardson, as well as County Administrator Scott Johnson.
And after the May 22 election, Duncan also seemed very pleased with the fact that the construction company executive, Connie Melear, easily won the District 1 seat with 74 percent of the vote and candidate Dewey Galeas won the District 4 seat with 54 percent. Both Melear and Galeas appear to have similar views to Duncan on the county’s growth.
Many Columbia County residents believe they are in good hands with Duncan.
Very few local candidates in recent history have gotten such statewide endorsements as Duncan in this year’s election, including nods from Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.
Over the past few weeks, when people asked Duncan how he got such impressive endorsements throughout Georgia, he simply said it’s all about “being involved.”
“I have worked with them on issues, and I communicate with them,” Duncan said. “A lot of people don’t communicate or talk to people until something materially affects them, and then usually they are upset.”
That’s not how he operates, Duncan said.
“I have been involved with these people for years on different projects,” Duncan said. “I know them personally. I have helped them with their campaigns; I have engaged in issues and I’ve been working within the community, so I know them.”
Duncan recently told the Metro Spirit it is important for the new chairperson to be able to work with everyone within the county government.
“Our form of county government is not unlike a business,” he said. “The board of directors are the commissioners, your administrator is like the president or CEO, and the assistant administrators are like your vice presidents.”
Each has a very important role within the county, Duncan said.
“The chairman does not run the county,” he said. “I will not run Columbia County. That is not my job. I just oversee and give direction. I remember (Commissioner) Trey Allen described it one time by saying the commission is the conscience of the county. I agree with that. And I want a good relationship with everybody because we are all on the same team.”