FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. — Clarence “Junior” Farmer is one of two candidates hoping to succeed the incumbent, Bobby Bearden, on the Fannin County Board of Education this year. Farmer, who has served on the board previously, was absent from a recent candidates forum due to a spinal surgery. Although he is still recovering, Farmer briefly spoke with FYN about his election bid.
Farmer, born and raised in Fannin County, emphasized his previous experience on the board. During his tenure, Farmer said he visited the Fannin County schools every month and talked to the teachers who worked there. “I’m for good schools, good education, and high graduation rate,” Farmer said, adding that the graduation rate had increased during his time on the board. He also noted that, when he was a member, the board worked to build a new football stadium and bring a college campus to the county. The campus was ultimately built in Ellijay, but Farmer said he advocated for Fannin County during the process.
Farmer also stressed vocational education as something the county needs. “There’s a lot of kids that can’t go to college, and they can go to a vocational school,” he said. Farmer, who attended a vocational school himself, said that they can provide opportunity to underserved communities. He cited education in plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work as jobs that students can be prepared for with vocational education. “Vocational school would help this county a whole lot,” he added.
He also noted his involvement with students during his previous tenure: “I worked with the kids and everything, and I attended every football game for four years, except four games.” Farmer said he attended just about every basketball, softball, baseball, and soccer game as well.
He made clear that his community involvement didn’t stop with students, “I was there for the parents, and they knew it too.” Similarly, he mentioned his open communication with Fannin County teachers. “I think the teachers right now are doing a good job, I really do,” Farmer said, adding “I talked to a lot of teachers when I was on the board, and they appreciate that.” As a board member, Farmer said he’d like to see all five members work together to help the people of the county.
When asked what he wants voters to remember about him, Farmer replied, “I want them to remember me as the peoples’ candidate. I hope they choose me as their choice, and if they do I’ll work with the parents, teachers, administrators, and I’ll work with them anyway I can, help them anyway I can.”
There are two board of education seats on the ballot this May, but only one seat is contested. Incumbent Bobby Bearden is being challenged by both Debi Holcomb and Clarence “Junior” Farmer. More information about the election on May 24, 2022 can be found here or at the Fannin County Board of Elections website.