Members of the Friends of Sandra Vincent social media web site got the news first, just before 8 p.m. on Friday: The former McDonough City Councilwoman, who resigned that post to run for District III Henry County Commission seat, announced she is withdrawing her bid for a county commission seat.
“On today I received some extremely disappointing news. I have learned that given my status as a federally paid employee (the a Hatch Act), I am ineligible to run as a candidate within a partisan race.
“With a heavy heart, I have respectfully accepted my ineligibility and withdrawn my candidacy,” Vincent told her supporters via her Facebook listing.
Efforts to reach Vincent, or McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland, were unsuccessful Friday night.
News of the withdrawal spread quickly, but no one talked about it on the record. Local law enforcement officers attending a traffic enforcement task force session at Henry County police headquarters, were abuzz over the withdrawal.
Last Friday, Vincent resigned from the McDonough City Council, in order to contend for the District III county commission post, as a Democrat. She was unopposed in the primary set for July 31, and political observers were speculating she would be a difficult candidate to beat. District III Commissioner Randy Stamey, a Repubilican, did not qualify for re-election, but four other Republicans, all political newcomers, have qualified. They are Gary W. Barham, a former public works director for the City of McDonough; Kenneth David Sherman, a semi-retired business owner; William L. “Bill” Toney, Jr., owner of Jenco, a golf cart manufacturing company, and human resources manager, Laura Elizabeth Jeffares.
Vincent was given a perceived edge in the political contest, and she noted, “I would be serving the same citizens that I previously served, from a different government,” said Vincent. All of McDonough’s District 2, which I represented, resides in [Henry] District III,” Vincent said.
“I would be remiss in not acknowledging the fact that I am extremely moved and appreciative of the many who have called to share their support. That means a lot! I appreciate you all, and your willingness to take Henry County to the next level... Thanks again, and God Bless,” said Vincent in her Internet posting.
Jason Smith and Elaine Rackley contributed to this article.