Norton elected Mayor, Gaddis, Ridley Re-elected to Dahlonega City Council



DAHLONEGA, Ga. — Former City Councilman Sam Norton’s decision to give up his seat to run for mayor paid off as he received 73 percent of the votes in a three-way race. Norton received 675 votes to defeat Rajpal Sagoo with 151 votes and Michael Clemons with 96.

Sam Norton (right) was elected Mayor of Dahlonega Tuesday.

Incumbents Roman Gaddis and Michael Ridley kept their seats on city council. Gaddis received 479 votes to defeat Johnny Ariemma who had 390 in Post 1. Ridley received a tough challenge from runner up Dewey Moye, but retained his Post 3 seat with 402 votes to Moye’s 351. Wesley Barron collected 138 votes.

In Post 2, Helen Fincher Hardman defeated Penelope Sharp 585 votes to 290.

JoAnne Taylor was the winner in Post 5 with 422 votes followed by Noah Steinberg with 264 and Alan Roach with 221.


In Dawsonville, voters swept the incumbents out of office Tuesday and elected two newcomers to city council. In a four-way race where the two candidates with the most votes are elected without a runoff, Mark French won with 159, followed by Steve Tolson with 134, incumbent Mike Sosebee with 118 and Angie Smith with 105.

It is difficult to determine whether or not Tuesday’s election results reflected the anger of voters over city council’s decision to impeach popular Mayor James Grogan. Smith led the charge to vote Grogan out, but Sosebee was the only council member to vote in favor of keeping Grogan.

Grogan announced recently that he plans to run for re-election in a special election early next year.

French has 20 years experience in public service. He spent 10 years working in Lumpkin County’s Finance Office and 10 years as the county’s grants analyst before entering the private sector. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from what was then North Georgia College and State University where he majored in Finance.

Tolson is a U.S. Army Ranger who retired after 20 years of service. He earned a Master’s Degree in Health Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He now manages a medical group in Forsyth County.


There was no election in Cleveland. Incumbent City Councilman Bradley Greene and Kevin Stanley qualified unopposed in Wards 3 and 4 respectively. Stanley will replace Edward Young on city council.


In Helen, the three candidates who receive the most votes are elected to city council. Steve Fowler led the way with 94 followed by Geneva S. Elwell with 74 and Lee Landress with 72 were the winners. Incumbent Judy Holloway received 66 votes and  Ronnie Helton had 46.



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