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Board of Elections chooses third member
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The Rockdale County Board of Elections selected its third member, after interviewing two finalists Tuesday morning, using luck of the draw and bringing to a close a five-month process.

Cary Bond was selected over Russel D. Moore III after two poker chips were placed in a brown paper bag and the one representing Bond was drawn at random. The third seat has traditionally been non-partisan and was vacated after Board of Elections Chairman Don Cargill retired in April. 

Both Republican member Lynn Brown and Democratic member Garvin Haynes expressed confidence in the qualifications of Bond and Moore.

"We had two excellent candidates. We would have been proud to have either one to serve," said Haynes.

"They're equally as good, and each of them would be an asset and be the independent," said Brown, shortly before the drawing. "I'm 50-50 on both of them. I really am. So, after I looked at their backgrounds and listened to their tapes and listened to your suggestion to Ms. Hilda, I brought two poker chips."

"I am happy with each," agreed Haynes. "I do think one is stronger than the other one for the board. Part of it is trying to assume we're going to have an independent that represents the third voting part of our county... Mr. Moore is the only one with the voting record that proves that."

According to voting records Bond has voted strictly Republican in primaries dating back to 1994, while Moore has voted both Democrat and Republican in primaries dating back to 2000.

Brown pointed out that Rockdale used to be a mostly Democratic county and became a mostly Republican county. "There weren't that many Democrats that were running for office. So if you voted (locally), you had to vote Republican," said Brown. 

Bond and Moore were also the finalists in August when then Republican member Hilda Westmoreland and Democratic member Garvin Haynes came to a stalemate and the search process was reopened. Westmoreland resigned her seat due to family responsiblities and Lynn Brown was appointed in her place.

"Everybody needs to move forward," said Brown. "It's 30 days to the election. Let's get to the business of the voters of Rockdale County."

After the paperwork is processed by the state, Bond will be sworn in by Probate Judge Lillis Brown, said Elections Supervisor Cynthia Welch.