The Walton County Chamber of Commerce hosted an online political forum last week for the city elections, with multiple races on the ballot represented.

Two of those races had only one candidate appear due to various considerations.

In the race for two open seats on the Good Hope Council, three candidates are vying for the positions, but only one appeared on May 19. Kelsey Malcom, the assistant director for Team-Up Mentoring, was in attendance, while John Robison was unable to attend due to a prior work commitment and Frank Palombo was out of town and unable to appear in the online debate.

Malcom said she feels she can bring her leadership experience from her non-profit volunteer work to the council to deal with multiple issues facing Good Hope.

“I feel I can add new insights to the council,” Malcom said. “I have quite a lot of experience working with groups and teams.”

Malcom said the biggest issue facing the city was managing its growth.

“Good Hope is growing very quickly,” she said. “I’d love to see more of the community participating in our festivals and events and helping to manage that growth.”

In the race for the District 3 seat on the Social Circle Council, only Jeb Butcher was able to appear, with opponent Charles Akin not in attendance.

While Akin has previously served on the city Board of Education, Butcher addressed his own experience head-on.

“I am 26 years old,” Butcher said. “Age might be an issue for some, but I feel I am fully prepared to take this on. Being on my HOA and other groups has taught me a lot about management.”

Butcher is the son of minister Butch Butcher and the married electrician said he wanted to help manage the city’s growth as it continues to develop.

“As we continue to grow, so are our businesses,” Butcher said.

Stephen Milligan is a staff writer for The Walton Tribune. He lives in Monroe and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

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