HIAWASSEE, GA – Hiawassee Councilman Jay Chastain, Jr. has publicly stepped forth to announce his endorsement of Hiawassee Mayoral candidate Barry Keith Dearing less than two weeks prior to election day.
The 12-year incumbent tells Fetch Your News that Mr. Dearing has his full support.
“I’ve known Barry for ages. He’s a fine man. There’s no doubt he entered the race because he wants what’s best for the City’s future,” the Councilman says.
Councilman Chastain, a lifelong resident and Paramedic of 31-years, met with candidate Dearing on the morning of Thursday, October 26, at McConnell Baptist Church during a newly initiated prayer breakfast to offer his blessing.
Barry Keith Dearing, a fourth generation local and the longtime CEO of VanKeith Insurance, says he appreciates Jay Chastain Jr.’s approval.
“He’s a good man and he’s committed to not only the Council, but to the community as a First Responder. I’m honored,” Dearing confided.
When pressed, both conservative candidates affirmed it’s neither the mayoral opposition’s lifestyle nor the fact she isn’t a “local” – the admitted concern Liz Ordiales raised at the Council forum – but the core issues that matter.
Of concern is the controversial imposition of the newly adopted BRMEMC Franchise Tax, confirmed to adversely affect the future budgets of Hiawassee citizens.
The recently passed planning-expansion ordinance, opposed by Councilman Chastain during a Special Called Meeting shortly after Pro-Tem Liz Ordiales announced her candidacy, is also an issue of debate.
Questionable decisions the former council member made while serving as President of the Towns County Fire Corps, including allegations of the alteration of Meeting minutes and the mismanagement of funds, and an initial attempt to reject the now-popular Mayors’ Park, have also put Ordiales in the hot seat.
Chastain’s decision to outwardly support mayoral candidate Dearing emerged unexpectedly during a community prayer meeting hosted at McConnell Church. The breakfast, sponsored in partnership with the Towns County Sheriff’s Office, is an initiative of Sheriff Chris Clinton to unite residents with local law enforcement and first responders.
Councilman Jay Chastain, Jr., the son of a slain Towns County Sheriff whose life ended while serving the community in 1974, expressed his heartfelt approval of Barry Dearing as Hiawassee’s next Mayor.
“I want to see Hiawassee thrive economically and I believe it will. I want the residents to know where I stand, local or move-in. It’s beside them,” Chastain parted before rushing off to arrive on-time for his role as a veteran Medic.
Fetch Your News has followed the 2017 Hiawassee City Council race since its inception.
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