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Pickens Election Guide 2014

My name is Dan Fincher and I am seeking reelection to the Pickens County School Board of Education Post 5. I was honored to be elected to this office beginning January 2011 for my first term. I have lived in Pickens County for 20 years. I graduated from Cave Spring High School in Rome, Ga., and received a Doctorate of Veterinary Science from the University of Georgia in 1964.

I believe deeply in public school education in America. I believe education is the great equalizer in society and it should be possible for every child to be successful if he/she has access to a quality public school education. I believe we have that in Pickens County. I also believe it is essential that we continue to promote that educational excellence on behalf of all our children now and in the future.

We have made great strides in our schools despite the recent downturn in the economy that has impacted all school systems across the state. We have made continuous upgrades on physical structures, provided cutting-edge technology infrastructure, improved leadership, maintained strong financial stewardship and renewed emphasis on teaching and learning. However, there is still more to do. I will continue to provide strong financial oversight, work hard to ensure that students and classrooms are budget priorities, help provide more advanced technology as it becomes available and continue to champion for student achievement and success for every child.

As I look to the future, my vision for the next four years is clear. I want Pickens County Schools to be synonymous with educational excellence. With your help and support we can do just that. I respectfully ask for your vote on May 20. Thank you.


Pickens voters may begin casting ballots at the Pioneer Road election office beginning Monday, April 28 in early voting for the May 20 Primary Election, with one local commissioner seat (for Pickens’ western district); two school board seats and a SPLOST referendum up for decision.

Early voting runs from April 28 through May 16. Voters can visit the elections office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Early voting will also be held on Saturday, May 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the same office. 

On the May 20 Election Day all voters must report to their regular polling place.  

There are a host of statewide primary contest including congressional seats and governor. See sample ballots in the April 24th Pickens Preogress. 



All Pickens voters regardless of party will see the one-penny sales tax on primary ballot.

Those requesting a republican ballot will see races for two school board seats and republican voters in the western district of the county will also see a commissioner race.

It is important to note that school board candidates must run for the post that serves the area where they live, but ALL voters vote on all school board races as they run at-large.

As has become the norm with Pickens politics the action is on the republican ballot only in the primary, with all local candidates qualifying through the Pickens GOP last week.

The contested races are:

• School Board Seat 2 - Incumbent Wendy Lowe, who has served as chairman since being elected to her first term, three years ago; challenger Daniel Bell, an auto collision repair instructor from Talking Rock.

• School Board Seat 5 – Incumbent Dan Fincher, a retired veterinarian; challenger Delane Lewis, who works as a school counselor at the Mountain Education Center from Big Canoe.

A third school board seat held by Byron Long will go uncontested with Long being the only candidate to qualify.

All voters will also weigh in on continuing the one-penny sales tax, which will go primarily to fund roads throughout the county. 

Voters who live in the western half of the county will see incumbent Jerry Barnes challenged by Bart Connelly who ran for the position two years ago. Following this election the seat will move to a four-year term.

Elections supervisor Julianne Roberts said one of the biggest issues they have is with voters who don’t understand the primary system and don’t want to choose a ballot. Voters must choose either a Republican or Democrat ticket to vote for that party’s candidates.

“They don’t want to choose a party ballot [then don’t understand why they don’t see the local races],” she said in an earlier interview.

In commissioner and school board races, since there were no democrats to qualify, the winner of the primary will get the seat.

One other note, voters might keep in mind. Local state rep Rick Jasperse, qualified to run for re-election as a republican. He is being challenged by Charles Hendrix who Hendrix qualified as a democrat. Since they are in two different parties, voters will not see them head-to-head until the November general election. Neither face opposition in the primary.

Anyone with concerns on their registration status should call the elections office at 706-253-8781.





My name is Delane Lewis and I am pleased to announce my candidacy for Post 5 for the Pickens Board of Education. I was fortunate to relocate to Pickens County in 1999 when my husband retired from Delta Airlines. We chose Pickens for the natural beauty for which I am grateful everyday. Through my 14 years here, though, I have come to appreciate that the true worth of Pickens County lies in the caring, generous people who live here. I would be honored to serve this community as a Board of Education representative.

My career in education began in 1969 as a high school Social Studies teacher. Since then I have worked for 22 years as a classroom teacher and counselor. I have 18 years experience in the airline industry, much of that time spent in training or supervisory functions at Delta, from which I retired in 2001. I have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Georgia and a Specialist in Education from Georgia State University. 

I retired from Pickens High School in 2009 where I worked as a counselor and graduation coach for 7 years. Since then I have been working part time as a counselor at the Mountain Education Charter High School. I have also served on the boards for Prevent Child Abuse-Pickens and the Pickens County Optimist Club (mentoring group.) I am an active member of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Family.

My work here has given me a deep regard for Pickens County Schools and for the many dedicated people who work here. We have a strong school system with traditions that deserve preservation as we look forward to prepare our students to address 21st century challenges. If chosen as your representative, I commit to you that I will be accessible and transparent, a good steward of your taxpayer dollars and to respect our school personnel professionals. I welcome your comments and concerns as I ask for your support. Please contact me at Facebook: Delane Lewis for Pickens BOE or e-mail delanemcallister@