September 6, 2013

Varnell qualifying ends with Godfrey, Nelson unopposed

Both ‘excited’ to join City Council next year

By Christopher Smith

— Nancy Nelson says she loves Varnell.

“It’s a great place to live and I want to keep it that way,” she said.

Nelson, an office manager at Duvall Chemicals in Dalton, was the only person who qualified for Seat 5 on the Varnell City Council. Qualifying for the Seat 5 election ended on Friday. City Clerk Pam Garrison said this is Nelson’s first time running for office in Varnell.

“I’m very excited,” Nelson said. “It’s all kind of new to me, doing this sort of thing. I’m hoping I can do some good.”

David Owens, who held Seat 5, resigned on Aug. 26 to run for mayor. Anthony Hulsey also qualified for the Nov. 5 mayoral election. Both qualified last week. Mayor Dan Peeples is not seeking re-election.

Because Owens resigned in the middle of a four-year term, Nelson is expected to serve two years before another election is needed in 2015, Garrison said.

Ashlee Godfrey, a financial adviser at Edward Jones in Dalton, was the only person who qualified last week for Seat 1, which is currently held by James Caldwell. Caldwell is not running again.

“I’m very excited to be able to have the chance to give back to the community,” Godfrey said. “I want to really concentrate on the budget. My background is in finances, so I would like to learn more about the budget and improve it.”

Jan Pourquoi and Michael Willocks qualified last week for Seat 2 on the City Council and will face each other in the Nov. 5 election. Both have not held office in Varnell before, Garrison said, adding that Seat 2 is currently held by Brent Newsome, who is also not seeking re-election.