Political newcomers in commissioner seat runoff


Both candidates for the Precinct 4 County Commission are new to the political arena, and now face each other for a second time in three months in the May 22 runoff.

Along with their newcomer status, both men are Republicans, which means the winner of the runoff could be the next commissioner, replacing the retiring Sam Cole.

George Hartsfield

A member of the Precinct 1 road crew and a former business owner, George Hartsfield garnered 158 votes in the February primary. He got into the race at the urging of friends.

His mission since then has been campaigning.

Hartsfield said he intends to run the precinct like a business, not a charity, and his focus will be on roads.

“You’re going to have to retrain people to do things right,” he said. “I want to work with the road crews to improve and streamline operations to provide a better product while saving the county money.”

Hartsfield also said that with his experience with budgets, he will work within the budget to accomplish his goals.

“I’m going to be for the taxpayer, and to make sure their voices will be heard,” he said.

Previously, Hartsfield said he joined the Precinct 1 road crew to gain experience in such matters.

"My true feelings are that if anyone that does not have the business, or management, or road work experience has no business running for such an important position in Madison County government," he said. "I will be a working commissioner, working side by side with my employees."

Hartsfield said he has owned a construction company for 20 years, which means knowing how to budget and keep things within that budget. His career also has seen him as a deputy sheriff and a prison transport officer, part of his philosophy of serving the people.

David Pohorelsky

David Pohorelsky, who picked up 276 votes in the primary, got into politics because of complaints about roads.

“My goal is to get all the roads fixed,” he said. "I want to get those in line. They cost people a lot of money, and everything that drives down them needs to be fixed."

While working at his full-time job, and having worked in the oil field for 25 years, Pohorelsky found issues with roads, and general management at the county as well, and plans to use his expertise to build better roads.

"I want to see if I can make a difference," he said. "I can make a county road a whole lot better; however, in politics, I'm going in with wet feet. But I I want to listen to the people and find out what they need, and go from there."

Pohorelsky said he plans do everything efficiently as well as cost-effectively, and does not see a reason to raise taxes.

"I want people to say I'm a good commissioner," he said. "I'm an honest man, and if I tell you I will do something, I will do it. People will need patience, because it will take a lot to get the roads back in order."

Both candidates were against the Texas Central plan for the high-speed rail.