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Ognio swamps incumbent Hearn, Barlow defeats Huddleston for 2 Fayette Commission posts

The two men, Randy Ognio and David Barlow, ran their first political races this summer, but they have been familiar faces at the Fayette County Commission for the past two years. Both regularly criticized the incumbents for the West Fayetteville Bypass, lack of transparency to the public and what they considered the board majority’s lack of regard for the average taxpayer.

Tuesday, they overwhelmed their opponents in the Republican runoff, ousting incumbent Lee Hearn and stopping a political bid by Fayetteville attorney Sheila Huddleston.

Both will have another four and a half months of watching the lame ducks — Hearn, defeated Commissioner Robert Horgan and Chairman Herb Frady, who declined to seek reelection — run the commission until Dec. 31.

Ognio and Barlow are expected to join newly elected Charles Oddo and incumbents Steve Brown and Allen McCarty in forming a new majority on the commission, one expected to exhibit a decidedly different tone than the current controversial board.

The clean sweep of the commission represents a personal victory for the man his opponents labeled “Boss Hogg” in a scathing political ad before the July 31 primary — Harold Bost.

Bost, himself a former commissioner, has put his money as well as his mouth behind the primary winners, as he did for Brown and McCarty two years ago, spending thousands in print, direct mail and signs boosting his candidates.

Bost says after this runoff he plans to “retire” from active politics. His political foes likely hope he is true to his word.

With 36 of 36 precincts counted Tuesday night, Ognio, an electrician, beat incumbent Hearn by nearly 4,000 votes, while videographer Barlow outdistanced Huddleston by more than 2,000 votes.



How much louder do the voters of this county have to speak for what we feel we need? Seems the wind is just blowing in a little different direction, now doesn't it?

Pity party at Horgan's house this Saturday evening for Hearn and Frady and Smith...advance invite says to bring your own pipe and munchies. Frady will supply the beer to cry into. Huddleston will supply the entertainment. Horgan will supply...well, will supply. Hearn is going to tell all he was wrong and then change his mind and tell all he was wrong.

G35 Dude's picture

Kind of reminds me of the story of the small town politician that was soundly drubbed in his re-election bid. During his last meeting with the few supporters that he had he was presented with a present. A beautiful pearl handled and gold plated hand gun. As he thanked his supporters for such a beautiful gift one responded. "Well we figured that this was what someone that had no more friends than you would need most!"

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Our best and brightest have been elected to lead our county into the future. A huge victory for Steve Brown - congratulations.

The Thumper and the Dumper will be the best thing we have ever seen in this county since, well since Steve Black beat Rose Marie Woods. Or since Mike Wheat was beaten by someone. You go guys. I'm rooting for you. Stop the lip lock with Steve Brown for a second and smile for the cameras.

Live free or die!

Evidenlty the majority of people in the district saw something other than what you, Mudcat and a few others did. Of course, I am sure we can expect more of the same cute rhetoric for the next few months or should I say endlessly? As I always say, if you think you can do something better "Be my guest" otherwise don't knock how the other fella does the job.

Maybe the voters just realized that these two gentlemen don't mind going to two meetings a month. I wish them and our county all the best of luck. If they are successful our county wins.

Some class by our elected officials would be a nice start.

NUK_1's picture

I wouldn't bet on it, but it will likely be pretty interesting.

This will be fun to watch.

No way it is all candy and nuts.

I sincerely hope i am wrong, time will tell if someone can change their spots.

ginga1414's picture

Whether you voted for Ognio, Barlow, Hearn or voted.

I was talking to one of the poll workers today, and he said, "You know, our system of government isn't perfect, but it's our system. We are privileged to be able to vote. If we don't vote, we will lose the right."

So, many thanks to all who participated in the voting process.

I am very grateful that we still have the freedom to voice our opinions.

Congratulations Mr. Brown; you ran the table and now own the commission. As a denizen of this county, I sincerely hope you will wield power to the benefit of your electorate.

We'll see if you are as proficient at governing as you have been at eristic and inimical criticisms. At any rate haughty ripostes are quite unnecessary any longer since you control all four marionettes.

Good luck!

Hopefully we can put this election behind us and the new commission can professionally work together and make this county proud. I do however believe that due to the political games played during elections, the outgoing commission is not going to make the transition easy for the newly elected officials.

Mr. Brown will win the nomination of chairman as payment for getting others elected.

Now my predictions. (parody)

The letters S and B will somehow disappear from all county keyboards.

Newly elected Chairman Brown will have renovations done at his house widening all doors to allow his head to pass through. Within a year and a half, people will tire of his behavior and call for his ouster. He will see the righting on the wall and seek out a higher political position.

Mr. Oddo will become the voice of reason, but will become the outsider as he tires due to the political games played by the chairman.

Mr. Ognio will be a straight shooter, but when a constituent begins to question the commission, he will eventually explode and call the person a ---- --- as they don't understand the inner workings and confidential information that must be withheld..

Mr. McCarty will continue to follow the lead of the new chairman, but will sometimes vote opposite the chairman on insignificant items to booster his autonomy.

Mr. Barlow will be caught with his eyes closed during meetings. He will state that unlike the previous commission chairman he is praying for wisdom and not sleeping. He will than motion to ban all video of the proceedings. Following this meeting, the Freethinkers will file a lawsuit thru the ACLU asking that all other deities and non believers be recognized during meetings. Within two years of seeing the stalled road projects costing the taxpayers more money as it sits unused he will motion to restart the project claiming he can cut 5 minutes off his commute from Tyrone to the county administration building. He will then be investigated by the GBI for road builders and developers paying off his creditors.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

but must ask, if the leaders of the future are such men of vision, why are they all wearing glasses?

Live free or die!

NUK_1's picture

....Clayton County just elected Victor Hill to be Sheriff again, even though he legally can't take office because his certification is suspended pending his 37 count RICO charges. That about says it all.

As far as Barlow goes....maybe he'll smarten up. Allowing ANY and EVERYONE a chance to speak at any meeting about anything is rather naive and stupid unless you want to have commission meetings that last until 2am as goofy citizens get up and repeat what the previous speakers said over and over again with nothing new added whatsoever. Maybe Barlow forgot that this isn't a democracy. Oh well.

americanpatriots's picture

Morgan, even for you, your vision statement is idiotic!
Jim Richter

americanpatriots's picture

Morgan, even for you, your vision statement is idiotic!

Jim Richter

At least Clayton County has voted in their former police chief, Jeff Turner, to be county commissioner and voted out Eldrin Bell. And looks like Turner will be county comm. chairman, too.

Victor Hill over Kimbrough? WTF are those people thinking? Oh wait, I AM talking about Clayton County. I forgot that for a moment.

Looks like they're NOT thinking--to elect someone under indictment for multiple felonies (from a special Grand Jury & District Attorneys from 2 outside counties) tells you something about their values. Believe Kimbrough was quoted as saying "Only in Clayton County!" And he, of all people, should know.

Looks like they're NOT thinking--to elect someone under indictment for multiple felonies (from a special Grand Jury & District Attorneys from 2 outside counties) tells you something about their values. Believe Kimbrough was quoted as saying "Only in Clayton County!" And he, of all people, should know.

mudcat's picture

They elected an indicted felon as head law enforcement officer and they knew this going in. Our alleged felon and grand thief of a mayor was not indicted or even charged with his crime until almost 2 years after his election. And we have already tried, convicted and sentenced our mayor - all in just one meeting.

I suspect the Hill problem will take longer to unravel. How inefficient.
New motto for Peachtree City "Plan to Serve"

Didn't you forget the word "time" at the end?

mudcat's picture

Serve the time, pay the fine if you do the crime.
Of course the way our mayor approaches his crime, maybe a better motto would be "Plan to make it expensive to punish me" although that's a little awkward and probably applies to only one person in all of Peachtree City. Does anyone else in this town actually think this is the way to resolve a dispute? Don't answer that, pumpkin - don't need to hear from you any more today.

NUK_1's picture

"Plan to Pay"

I just don't get it. I keep thinking back to one of the candidate forums here where a certain unnamed candidate told the room he had a conversation with someone in law enforcement in Clayton County and they told him, "We have nothing left to steal in Clayton County!."

Looks like the governor will have to step in and that will be a mess for them, too. Although, I guess it will be better than what they would be left with if he doesn't step in. What a mess.

Steve Brown's picture

Congratulations to Chuck Oddo, Randy Ognio and David Barlow. I look forward to working with you.

rolling stone's picture

Now it is obvious: Sheila Huddleston was too darn pretty for that job. I wish you all well and I hope that I don't read a headline a year or so from now to the effect of: "Fayette county resident went to a fight and a commissioners meeting broke out".

pcocpa's picture

Duplicate removed,

pcocpa's picture

. . . To Charles, David and Randy. I look forward to working with you, Allen and Steve in the coming years. Best wishes. Paul C. Oddo, Jr., Councilman, City of Fayetteville

americanpatriots's picture

Updated twice

americanpatriots's picture

Congratulations to Dr. Barry Marchman, Dr. Mary Kay Bacallo, Charles Oddo, David Barlow and Randy Ognio.

Dr. Mary Kay Bacallo has a runoff in November with Terri Smith but that is a given. I predict Terri Smith will be soundly defeated in a landslide.

We now have some of the best and brightness minds in Fayette County that can focus on getting us out of the mess certain members of the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners have put us in.

Good luck to all of you!

Jim Richter

DBarlow's picture

My commitment to run for Fayette County Commissioner began in earnest June 23, 2011 when Ms. Nancy Truluck spoke to the commission from her wheelchair. She said, “The three Commissioners on the Board who wanted the West Fayetteville Bypass should pay for it”. I would like to have been a Commissioner that night and I would have voted to stop the funding of the West Fayette Bypass.

As I asked God for guidance I remembered a verse, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” My wife and I believe this is God’s will for my life and we are forever grateful.

During my campaign I consistently spoke about complete and honest transparency. No more special interest groups receiving preferential treatment, no more backroom deals and all county business will be conducted with true accountability.

Every Fayette County citizen has the right to come to a commission meeting and voice a complaint or ask a question and receive an answer. I will make a motion to implement the end of the sign-in sheet. Simply attend the meeting and you will be given an opportunity to address the Commission. No exceptions!

If you voted for me please accept my heartfelt thanks. If you did not vote for me please know that I will treat every citizen with dignity and respect. Should you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss with me please do not hesitate to contact me and I’ll gladly meet with you. You deserve an opportunity to get to know who will be representing you.

I’ve taken Ronald Reagan’s 1980 Republican Convention acceptance speech as my inspiration to say, “The time is now, Fayette County, to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands. And to do this it will take many of us, working together. I ask you now, all over this county, to let your voice be heard”.

God Bless You and God Bless Fayette County!

David L. Barlow, Commissioner Nominee
207 Brooks Drive
Tyrone, Georgia 30290

Proud Citizen of Fayette County, Tyrone, Georgia. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life..John 3:16

Glad we will have a breath of fresh air on the Commission and some fiscal responsibility. Now the burden will be on you all to make Fayette County proud that we have re-configured this body.

Looking forward to good sense, less cronyism, and focus on Fayette County needs... not Atlanta's transportation problems.


Citizen Bob's picture


R.J. Ross

Citizen Bob's picture

The commissioners-elect will start formally preparing for office now: studying the Fayette County organization in detail, our master plan, land use plan, transportation plan, etc. Learning the sources of revenue and our expenses... and looking for innovative ways to trim expenses (one of their platform planks, bidding expensive contracts, should help).

The county administrator has developed a binder for transitioning commissioners, which should help. I'd encourage him to post it on line so all of us can become better acquainted with how the county works.

It will also help for civic-minded citizens to remain constructively engaged.

R.J. Ross

I haven't seen any ideas put forth here by Mr. Brown. Any ideas for cuts?

Any ideas for roads?

Any ideas for parks?

Any ideas for spending increases to maintain quality of life?

Any ideas for Policing needs?

Any ideas for anything?

I for one would like to hear some ideas...not just "vote for my minions".

Citizen Bob's picture


R.J. Ross

Citizen Bob's picture

- Spend no more than the county collects in revenues (which will no doubt defer nice-to-have QOL projects)
- Implement uniform bidding for expensive contracts
- Ensure county taxpayers are protected from the fixed obligations of a DB retirement plan (GA State Auditor's report will be issued in Jan '13)
- Advertise openings for appointments to boards, authorities, and commissions
- Insist on objective, quantitative criteria for assessing road/other construction priorities
- Amend the ARC's Concept 3 transportation plan to remove mass transit from the county

None of these are exciting, glamorous, or sexy, but create a foundation for more effective and efficient government. That done, and an improving economy & higher revenues, we can consider public "wants"; now, it's a matter of covering our needs.

R.J. Ross

PTC Observer's picture


NUK_1's picture

Can't wait for that. It seems like that idea died as fast as his district voting diatribe, but he'll probably resurrect it now.

PTC Observer's picture

All of these sound good to me, and how about transparency?

Since Mr. Barlow won't be videoing, how about putting something together that will institutionalize a process that will give access to commission meetings to the widest number of citizens possible. Then put it on the public access channel.

Here's just one example, let's see how important open government is to our new commission.

ginga1414's picture

My good pal, Leslie, just reminded us that the goat thing isn't far fetched at all.

IN FACT, those little relentless chompers ate their way through some mighty tough vegetation down at our own Kiwanis Field a few years ago.

IN FACT, the U. of Ga. used goats to get rid of one of the kudzu problems there, just last year.

I just wish they could eat this heavy road equipment that has taken up residence in my backyard. My dogs hate these big yellow monsters and the barking has started all over, again.

Wow, competitive bidding for county contracts. That's frightening. We would lose our engineers' rich and valuable history of Fayette County. LOL. Of course I am being sarcastic. I agree Citizen Bob.

Citizen Bob
You forgot Term Limits.

That is clearly must.

How about 1 term only...we need that in Washington DC too

Citizen Bob
You forgot Term Limits.

That is clearly must.

How about 1 term only...we need that in Washington DC too

Josh Bloom's picture

Deleted for double post. Something is going on with this site????? Maybe too much trafic

Steve Brown's picture

For two years, I have been putting ideas together hoping for a majority to push them through.

Top priority: balance the budget in January.

Best of luck.

I know you don't want my advice, but a little bit of humility would be nice.

I choose to live in Fayette for a reason, it is because we are supposed to be a better people. Better standard of living, etc.

Show some leadership and you will be congratulated.

Any ideas on the traffic problem to and fro to Coweta County? Hwy 54 is a nightmare many at many times. Thoughts?

many at many times. Are you ok? So unlike you to have typos. Me yes, you no.

Josh Bloom's picture


Bob Ross for County Adminstrator--- interesting idea !

PTC Observer's picture

Congratulations to the new commissioners, we look forward to having you actually solve problems and making our county the best example of what local government can do for its citizens.

Good luck

ginga1414's picture

PLEASE, Mr. Krakeel post your transition binder where all Fayette citizens will be able to study it!

Leave it to Bob! He comes up with these brilliant pearls of wisdom on a daily basis!

Thanks again, Bob!


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