Bartlett wins slugfest
Incumbent sheriff to face Little in November
Tracy B. Cieniewicz and Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A controversial primary election campaign to become the Republican Party candidate for Morgan County sheriff was decided Tuesday night with voters putting Sheriff Greg Bartlett in the candidate's seat and leaving Stacy Lee George in his county commission seat.
Bartlett handily defeated George with 12,065 votes, or 74.64 percent, to George's 4,099 votes, or 25.36 percent.
George, District 4 Morgan County Commissioner, announced his plans to oppose Bartlett in the Republican Primary after much public debate between the two regarding construction and staffing plans for the new $23 million Morgan County Jail.
Bartlett and his supporters met at Curry's on Johnston Street in Decatur Tuesday night to await election results. A projection screen, operated by Bartlett's oldest son Tyler, tabulated votes from each precinct throughout the evening.
Shortly before 9 p.m., Bartlett, accompanied by his wife Barbara and sons Tyler and Drew, announced his victory.
"It's overwhelming," Bartlett said. "I'm very thankful to the voters and very honored at how big the numbers turned out. We're looking forward to the future, to November and a clean race."
George and his supporters met at County Hearth Inn in Hartselle to await election results. George said he conceded to Bartlett after he viewed the first returns shortly after 8 p.m.
"I told him the people of Morgan County have spoken and I honor their decision. I also congratulated him and wished him good lock in the November election," George said. "The message I get out of this is that the people are satisfied with the job I'm doing as a county commissioner and I look forward to continuing to serve them in that capacity. It probably hurt my chances of being elected sheriff because I don't have law enforcement experience and Greg does.
"I'll be there ready and willing to help him any way that I can as far as my job as a commissioner is concerned."
Bartlett based his campaign on his law enforcement experience and his commitment to keeping Morgan County schools and communities safe. He has 23 years of law enforcement experience with the Hartselle Police Department and the Morgan County District Attorney's Office. He is completing his first term as Morgan County Sheriff and is a member of the Morgan County Child Abuse Team and the Morgan County Child Death Review Team.
George, who has no law enforcement experience, based his campaign on accountability and promised to lobby the legislature to remove a state law that allows sheriffs to keep surplus inmate food profits. George is in his second term with the Morgan County Commission.
Tom Little defeated Charlie Bryant in the Democratic Primary with 3,835 votes, or 59.59 percent, to Bryant's 2,601 votes, or 40.41 percent. Bartlett will face Little Nov. 7 in the general election.