FetchYourNews will post a series of profile articles on both Republican candidates in the July 26 runoff for the District 4 seat on the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners. This is the second in that series. We will also feature the Democrat candidate before the November general election.
DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Political consultants will tell you that a candidate’s experience, name recognition and likeability are key elements in a political campaign. Clarence Grindle, a lifelong resident of Lumpkin County, checks every one of those boxes.
Grindle, 76, defeated Jeff Moran by a paper-thin margin of 49 votes in the general primary election last month but failed to get enough votes to avoid a July runoff. Grindle received 1,005 votes to Moran’s 956.
Experience: Grindle served two terms on the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners until being defeated by Bob Pullen in 2014. In a phone interview Monday, Grindle said the Board accomplished a good bit during his terms, including the completion of the courthouse and the addition of ball fields, fencing, restrooms and a conference center at Yahoola Creek Park.
“I’m hoping my experience in serving eight years on the Board will be a factor,” Grindle said.
Name recognition: It could be reasonably argued that Grindle, who has run Grindle’s Barber Shop for nearly half a century, is the most recognizable person in the county. Only the newest of newcomers (men, that is) have not sat in his barber’s chair.
Likeability: You don’t last 50 years as a small-town barber without being friendly and outgoing. Grindle is kind even when talking about his opponent. “I only met him two or three weeks ago,” he said. “He seems like a really nice fellow. I don’t have anything against him.”
If elected, Grindle will be 80 years old when his term in office ends, but he said he does not see that as a negative. “Not at all. I do everything now that I have done since I was 18 years old,” he added.
A graduate of Lumpkin County High School, he has lived in Lumpkin County his whole life and enjoys the small-town charm, but he understands that growth is inevitable. Still, his desire is to attract more industry without destroying the town’s character.
To that end, Grindle wants to address the problem of litter. He said he would like to propose a plan that would emphasize education, enforcement and prevention in an effort to keep the county clean.
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