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Keener elected Social Circle mayor
David Keener
David L. Keener addresses a candidate forum on Sept. 23, 2019, in Social Circle, Ga. - photo by Stephen Milligan

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — David Keener said he wanted to be the "People's Mayor."

Now he'll have the chance.

Keener was elected mayor Social Circle on Tuesday in a landslide over two-term incumbent Hal Dally.

In complete but unofficial returns, Keener had 586 votes (58.37%) to Dally's 418 (41.63%).

"Apparently the people wanted a change and that's fine," Dally said. "I hope the new mayor will continue with the strategic plan we've got in place and move the city forward."

Dally said he planned to call Keener and concede the race. The outgoing mayor said he leaves with no ill will.

"I served the city for 28 years, and I've enjoyed my service," he said, including time as mayor and previously, leading the city Board of Education.

"They wanted to make a change, and that's good too," he said. "I had no problem."

Keener did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Two incumbents will be returning to the City Council.

Steve Shelton won the District 4 seat easily, defeating two challengers without needing a runoff. Shelton got 237 votes (64.93%) compared to 95 for Ann Overbeck and 31 for Jay Perpall.

Tyson Jackson was reelected in District 2 without opposition.

Board of Education

Steve Trantham rode the wave of anti-incumbent sentiment into office, defeating Patrick Dally for his District 3 seat on the Social Circle Board of Education by a margin of 218 votes to 143.

Trantham said he felt encouraged by the push for new, fresh voices in local government and was happy to take a spot on the board.

“I’m gratified by the outcome,” Trantham said. “My feet sure feel better from walking and talking to all the folks in my district. I’m overwhelmed by the response.”

Trantham said he felt the board, with two new members and a new superintendent, would do great things in the near future.

“My heart’s in this school system,” Trantham, a former Social Circle teacher, said. “Now I need to sit down with the board and see what we want to do with the issues facing us going forward.”

Dally did not return calls for comment by press time.

In the District 1 race, Michael O’Conor beat incumbent Tonia Lumpkin by a mere 10 votes, 116 to 106, to take the other open seat on the board. Neither he nor Lumpkin returned calls for comment by press time.

— Walton Tribune News Editor Stephen Milligan contributed to this report.