Army combat veteran Jeff Moran’s experience in Iraq, Afghanistan has prepared him to lead

Election 2018

FetchYourNews will post a series of profile articles on both candidates for the District 4 seat on the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners. This is the first in that series.

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Jeff Moran’s life has been guided by the principle of service before self. He proved that during a stellar 26-year career in the U.S. Army that included multiple leadership roles and three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now he wants to serve his county as a member of the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners. But first, he will have to defeat Clarence Grindle in a July 24 runoff. In last week’s General Primary, Grindle received 1,005 votes to Moran’s 956. Mark Zeller finished third with 538 votes.

In an exclusive interview with FetchYourNews Tuesday, Moran said he is well-prepared to hold the office.

“One thing the military has always been good at is producing leaders,” he said. “I can’t think of a bigger leadership challenge than leading people into combat.”

Moran entered the Army as a private but rose up the ranks to become a commissioned officer and ultimately to the rank of major. During his combat deployments, he commanded 180 soldiers. The last was an outpost on the outskirts of the mountains of Afghanistan, a 13-hour ride away from reinforcement on the Pakistani border.

He and his men did more than carry out combat missions, however. “We provided security for a district the size of two counties, attended government meetings, sat with them and talked about issues like building schools, retaining walls to divert flood waters and paving projects. So there were a lot of things that directly relate to being a county commissioner that I was actually able to do as a combat officer. With all those combat deployments, there were some serious leadership challenges, and I was successful in all of them,” Moran stated.

Moran said the critical issue facing Lumpkin County is economic development: “We need more industrial growth in the county. Right now, our citizens drive outside the county to work, shop, eat, find entertainment and get medical care. They travel to surrounding counties and sink millions of dollars into their economy as opposed to our own. With an effective plan of commercial and industrial growth, we can address economic development while still maintaining the charm of Dahlonega and preserving the beauty of Lumpkin County.”

There is little doubt that explosive growth is headed northward up the Ga. 400 corridor to Lumpkin County. Moran said the county is eerily similar in population and growth rate to Forsyth County in the late 1990s. “Look at Forsyth now. We can either come up with a plan and get ahead of growth and manage it properly or stick our heads in the sand and hope for the best,” Moran stressed.

Moran said the possibility of Northeast Georgia Medical Center building a hospital at the intersection of Ga. 400 and Hwy. 60 will “create a spark that will ignite growth here in the community. It’s going to bring jobs to the community where people can live here and work here too, not just doctors and surgeons, but nurses, technicians, x-ray techs, cafeteria workers and custodial staff.”

Moran said he will work to ensure transparency on the board and enhance communication with the citizens of the county by recommending that all meetings be streamed live on the county website and recorded so that all citizens will have access to them.

Now that he has settled into civilian life, he is the senior Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) instructor at Lumpkin County High School. His wife Brenda owns her own small business in Lumpkin County. The couple has four grown children.

“I have the time, energy, passion and dedication to serve the people of Lumpkin County,” Moran said.


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at












Voter registration deadline for Gen. Primary is tomorrow

Election 2018, News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — Georgia’s General Primary election is one month away. Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 24) is the deadline to register to vote.

On Election Day (May 22), the polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

In the race for State House District 9, three-term incumbent Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) will face a challenge from Mark Hajduk of Cumming.

Mark Hajduk

This will be Hajduk’s first run for political office, however, he is no newcomer to government. He served an internship on the U.S. House Banking Commitee and worked in the office of the late Senator Paul Coverdell. He was also an investigator in the U.S. Department of Justice.

He has called for a “rural reboot” for Georgia’s rural communities that includes improvements in high speed internet access and healthcare. He has said he would work to incentivise development of medical facilities and promote advancement in tele-medical facilities. He believes that physician visits in the future could take place via live stream internet.

Tanner is seeking his fourth term in the House. He is chairman of the House Transportation Committee and serves on other committees, including Appropriations, Education and Natural Resources.

State Rep. Kevin Tanner

He co-sponsored a controversial transportation bill that passed the General Assembly recently. The bill proposes to create a 13-member committee, appointed by lawmakers in 13 counties to oversee transit decisions. To be enacted, however, voters in those 13 counties will be asked to pass a one-cent sales tax aimed at raising $100 million.

Republicans competing for the District 4 post on the Board of Commissioners include, Clarence Grindle, Jeff Moran and Mark Zeller. The winner of the Republican Primary will face either Teresa Gay or Dennis Hoover in the November General Election.

Grindle is a barber and rental property owner who served on the Board of Commissioners from 2006 through 2014.

Clarence Grindle

Moran is Senior Army Instructor for Lumpkin County High School’s JROTC program. He concedes that growth in inevitable, but the challenge is to plan economic development in a non-invasive way in order to offset the demand for increased property taxes.

Zeller is retired military and an advocate for Veterans At Large. He believes Lumpkin County citizens have been left out of the decision making process. He has called for an upgrade of the county website to make it interactive so that citizens can provide more input.

Jeff Moran

Fetch Your news will profile the Democrat candidates for District 4 Board of Commissioners in the near future.



Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach.If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at

Mark Zeller



Qualifying for May 22 General Primary ends Friday at noon

Election 2018

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — UPDATE: Mark Zeller was the only candidate to add his name to the list of qualifiers for the May 22 General Primary Thursday.

Zeller will campaign for Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners in District 4.

Incumbent District 3 Commissioner Rhett Stringer qualified late Tuesday afternoon and four more candidates tossed their hats into the ring in Wednesday qualifying.

Dennis Hoover (D) and Jeff Moran (R) qualified to run in the District 4 Board of Commissioners race. Also, incumbent Board of Education Chairman Bobby Self (R) qualified along with Craig Poore (R), the incumbent Board of Education member in District 2.

There is also an important race for Georgia House of Representatives District 9 where incumbent Kevin Tanner (R), of Dawsonville, and Mark Hajduk (R), of Cumming, have qualified.

Other county commission candidates who qualified earlier in the week include Peri Lynn Gordon (D) in District 3 and Teresa Gay (D) in District 4. Incumbent Lynn Sylvester (R) qualified to run in the District 4 Board of Education race.

The May General Primary will be held May 22, 2018, with a voter registration deadline of April 23.

Qualifying will continue through this week, ending March 9 at noon. All persons wishing to participate as a candidate in the 2018 election will need to qualify by this time.

Rhett Stringer (I)








Craig Poore (I)

Peri Lynn Gordon

Teresa Gay

Lynn Sylvester

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