HomeNewsGaugh, Gaugh, Barnes win JMCSS primary elections

Gaugh, Gaugh, Barnes win JMCSS primary elections

By Brandon Shields

Managing editor

Debbie Gaugh was nervous going into Tuesday’s Republican primary for Jackson-Madison County School Board elections.

Gaugh, who was the incumbent representing District 3 in the southern end of the county, had two challengers in the race – long-time educator Brian Ford and local parent Kipp Hornburger.

“I wasn’t sure coming into today how this vote would go, but I was hopeful that my record would speak for itself,” Gaugh said. “And I think it played a role in today’s vote.”

Tuesday’s vote went in Gaugh’s way as she claimed 659 votes to Hornburger’s 304 and Ford’s 268 – totaling more than the combined vote total by the challengers.

On the other end of the county in District 2, Gaugh’s son, Glen, defeated Melissa Watson 690 votes to 440.

“I think voters like to be asked for their vote and they like for their voice to be heard by someone running for office,” Glen Gaugh said when asked what he thought tipped the votes in his favor. “I laid my vision for the school system and what I think is best for those I was able to talk to, and I think a lot of them really agreed with my platform.”

Glen Gaugh’s win means he moves on to the general election in August against independent incumbent Ken Newman.

Debbie Gaugh has no opposition in the general election, meaning she is set to serve four more years representing the south end of the county.

Shane Barnes eliminated Sherry Franks from the seat she’s held for nearly four years in the Republican primary as Barnes received 1,021 votes to Franks’ 783 for District 5, Position 1 in the northwest end of the county.

Barnes, who is a deputy at the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, ran mainly on the issue of school safety and improving that for the district.

“There are a number of ways safety in our schools can be improved,” Barnes said. “And I look forward to talking with different people about coming up with ways to make that happen by discussing these things with [JMCSS Superintendent Marlon King] and other members of the Board.”

Barnes also wins a contested primary with an uncontested general election, which means he has six months to prepare to serve on the Board before being sworn in before the Board meeting in September.

“I plan to go to a lot of the Board meetings between now and then because I want to know what’s going on before I get on the Board,” Barnes said. “But I’m very grateful to the voters for putting their trust in me and our message.”

In the other contested vote of the night, Madison County Property Assessor Frances Hunley stayed ahead of challenger J.D. Hale by a final tally of 3,775 votes to 2,324.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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