In party crossover endorsements, Olens endorses Owens, Hutchins endorses Holmes

Cobb advance voting absentee ballot drop boxBallot drop at the South Cobb Government Center (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

There were two notable party crossover endorsements recently in local Cobb County election campaigns, one in which a Republican endorsed a Democrat, and one in which a Democrat endorsed a Republican.

Prominent Cobb County Republican Sam Olens endorsed Democratic candidate for Sheriff Craig Owens, and incoming Democratic school board member and long-time South Cobb education activist Leroy Tre’ Hutchins endorsed Republican incumbent District Attorney Joyette Holmes.

Olens endorses Owens

Republican Sam Olens endorsed Democrat Craig Owens for Cobb County Sheriff.

Owens is a Major in the Cobb County Police Department and the commander of Precinct 2 in South Cobb.

Olens is a prominent Republican who has served as chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, Georgia Attorney General and the President of Kennesaw State University.

Olens said in making the endorsement, “Craig Owens has an extensive resume of leadership and management experience in law enforcement and with over 30 years in the U.S. Army. His quality of character, and depth of knowledge, define him as someone voters can trust and take pride in as their next Sheriff.”

Owens is running against controversial incumbent Republican Sheriff Neil Warren, who has been criticized for deaths of inmates in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center, and for his enthusiastic embrace of the 287-G program, by which Cobb County sheriff’s employees become immigration enforcement agents.

A not-as-surprising endorsement for Owens came from the Georgia Chapter of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations).

“Cobb County working families need a leader who will keep our community safe, and that leader is Craig Owens,” said James T. Williams, president of the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council, AFL-CIO in announcing the endorsement.  

Hutchins endorses Holmes

Democrat Leroy Tre’ Hutchins who is running unopposed for his first term on the Cobb County Board of Education endorsed Republican incumbent District Attorney Joyette Holmes.

Hutchins is a long-time education advocate, and as a leader of the South Cobb Alliance has been an advocate for the incorporation of Mableton as a city.

In announcing his endorsement, available for viewing on a youtube video, he said, “I am here today supporting my friend Joyette Holmes simply because she is the right choice to continue being our district attorney here in Cobb County,” said Hutchins.

“She is smart, she’s intelligent, and she has a heart for the community. And so every time I see DA Holmes within the community, it does my heart good because I know that it’s more than just prosecuting for [DA] Holmes,” he said. “It’s about meeting the community where they are and making sure that they have the tools that they need to be successful.”

“So I’m looking forward to our continued partnership and how we’re going to partner even with schools in Post 3 regarding our criminal justice system and being civically engaged through a potential Junior DA program,” Hutchins said. “So we’re excited about the possibilities moving forward on how we’re going to collaborate and ensure that our community is healthy.”

In the not-so-surprising category among Holmes’ endorsements, the District Attorney received the endorsement of Republican District 3 Cobb County Commissioner JoAnn Birrell.

Commissioner Birrell’s spoken endorsement is also available on a Youtube video.

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