UPDATE : Walker County will soon be under new leadership. The sole commissioner for the past 16 years was voted out of office. Bebe Heiskell was ousted in a three-way race. Newcomer Republican Shannon Whitfield won by a landslide. He brought in 72 percent of the vote. Perry Lamb Junior came in second, followed by Heiskell.
Since 2001, Bebe Heiskell has been the commissioner for Walker County. Residents agree they are ready for change, and believe Shannon Whitfield is the best man for the job.
After years of being the only commissioner for Walker County, Bebe Heiskell is out and republican newcomer Shannon Whitfield is in. “You need leadership that is going to work with people not against the people. Buying property doesn't help the county,” said Walker County resident John Sphoneix.
Whitfield took over 70 percent of the votes from Heiskell and Independent Candidate Perry Lamb Junior. Heiskell trailed both candidates. Residents said they're ready for a fresh face with new ideas. “Neglect and greed makes a difference in the county. We need more that a single commission. We need a multi-commission.”
Misty Pendergrass has been a Walker County resident all her life, she was ready for change and says the future of the county depends on it. “Comes in strong, gets Walker County back to where it needs to be and builds us back up.”
She blames Heiskell for county debt, and is ready for her hometown to thrive. “Long time coming, a lot of money lost in Walker County and a lot of money owed by Walker County that they don't have and we need to get caught up.”
But for others, they hate to see the long timer leave. Rick Buff is a city councilman and worked side by side with the commissioner for years. “The rec center, the gym and other things. Bebe has been a good commissioner for the city of Rossville,” said Buff.
With a landslide win Shannon Whitfield is ready to begin his new position. He said change won't happen overnight. It will take time-- but it is time he is willing to invest in. “Lets go forward in 2017 and we will make Walker County one of the best places to live, work, and play in Georgia,” said Walker County Commissioner Elect Shannon Whitfield.
Whitfield will take office in January 2017 for a four-year term.
PREVIOUS STORY: Early voting numbers say that Shannon Whitfield leads over incumbent Bebe Heiskell.
Whitfield has 14,14184 votes, which is about 73%. Heiskell has 2470 votes, and Perry Lamb 2743 votes with six out of 11 precincts reporting.
Bebe Heiskell, who has had the position for the last 16 years, and could potentially lose her seat as Walker County Commissioner.
Lamb made local history this election by being the first independent candidate in the race to actually collect signatures to be on the ballot.