“District 6 Commissioner-elect, Jesse Houle is once again adding their name to the ballot. Houle has announced they will be a candidate for the District 6 seat for the special election November 3rd. As Commissioner-elect, Houle has already been selected to take office in January. They are now also the Democratic candidate.

Houle explains the somewhat confusing scenario.

“…The reason why we have an election is [that] the tragic and untimely passing of Jerry NeSmith left a vacancy of more than 180 days and so state law mandates that there is a special election for that rather than an appointment. Hence the lag time because they also dictate the calendar of when that can be. Since we already have an election, as most everyone knows, this November 3rd, the special election is to be held the same day. And it will be to complete the remainder of what would have been Jerry’s term.”

They are running because thousands of Athens residents are currently not represented.

“…As I’ve, through bizarre circumstances, found myself as the Commissioner-elect, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from constituents who are looking for help and they don’t have a commissioner to reach out to. So filling that void is something that we need to do.”

They say both Mayor Girtz and County Manager, Blaine Williams have been assisting residents. Election Day is November 3rd and early voting begins September 15th by absentee ballot and October 12th in person.”