FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — After a tie vote forced a runoff, newcomer Chad Crane came out on top in a special election Dec. 5 to take the Post 1 seat on the Cumming City Council.
Crane garnered more than 60 percent of the 552 votes cast, while incumbent Chuck Welch took 38 percent.
“I am very excited about the win and I am excited for the city of Cumming,” Crane said. “A well-deserved awesome change is not far away.”
Initially, the Nov. 7 general election results showed Welch losing to Crane by three votes. However, the Forsyth County Board of Registrations and Elections ordered a recanvas of the paper ballots for the race to ensure a proper count. The recount showed both candidates locked in a tie.
Crane said in November that a win would mean a lot to him. He said he was looking forward to winning and helping the new council members and mayor.
“The city of Cumming needs a lot of changes,” Crane said. “The old ‘guard’ hasn’t been doing it for us. They’ve been set in their ways and they haven’t brought Cumming along with the surrounding cities. Everyone around us is moving along with time, and we’re stuck in our ways.”
First and foremost, Crane said he wants to get the Cumming Fairgrounds back in control of the council.
At its November meeting, the City Council voted to transfer all income from the 2017 Cumming Country Fair & Festival – a little over $1 million – to the Fair Authority which operates the Fairgrounds. The motion was initiated by Welch.
Crane said the city gets no revenue from the fair and has no say in how it is operated.
The Cumming Fair Authority was created in February 2013 to maintain, operate and promote the Cumming Fairgrounds.
Crane said the “good ole boys,” which includes current and former city officials on the Authority, gave themselves control of the Fairgrounds, parking lots and Mary Alice Park.
The city minutes said the allocation of funds was to be used for operating the fair in 2018.